Pollution ControlTrash

Keeping our county's land and water clean is a difficult challenge. Trash found along highways is the most visible issue, and reflects on our society. Most of the water pollution, however, is only visible in the longer-term. Over-fertilization of residential and farm lands, and broken or poorly maintained septic systems to a lesser extent, cause the Bay water to cloud up with algae creating "dead zones" in our creeks and rivers.

NAPS volunteers participate in Adopt-A-Highway and shoreline cleanup projects. NAPS also educates and monitors polution issues, including septic system maintenance and the misuse of sewage sludge as fertilizer.


NAPS adopted the stretch of VA Route 200 between Tipers Bridge over the Great Wicomico River and Wicomico Church in the early 1990's. A crew of NAPS volunteers, under the leadership of Anne Bélanger, picks up highway litter several times each year. Anne also serves as liaison between NAPS and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Adopt-A-Highway program, not only in promoting the program, but in signing up a number of church, high school and other volunteer groups. From time to time, NAPS has been asked to conduct cleanups of particularly bad spots, usually illegal dumps. Learn more...

Shoreline CleanupCreek Cleanup

NAPS conducted annual cleanups along the shorelines of eight stretches of water in the county, from the Yeocomico River in the north to Indian Creek in the south. Many years, up to150 volunteers, including high school students, and 25 boats participated. On average about 2.5 tons of trash were removed each year and trucked to landfills. The menhaden factories and numerous businesses throughout the county provided invaluable support.

Due to these efforts in the past, our creeks and rivers have been improved. NAPS has restarted the cycle of cleanups with its Cockrells Creek Cleanup in 2011, and plans to complete the cycle in 2019.

Septic System Maintenance

We all want to "flush and forget". We trust that our wastes will just disappear. Good stewardship, however, requires us to understand some aspects of the waste disposal process and to make some decisions. Our own waste, after all, is our own responsibility.

Septic systems allow solid waste particles to settle out so that bacteria can decompose some of the organic particles. Trapping particles in the septic tank is essential to prohibit clogging the drain field, causing failure of the system, and pollution of our waterways. NAPS educates homeowners on the importance of septic system maintenance for their own health, and the health of our environment. Learn more...

Sludge as Fertilizer

Sewage sludge and poultry litter are commonly touted as “free fertilizer.” In fact, all forms of animal waste are highly inefficient forms of fertilization, guaranteeing considerable groundwater and surface water pollution. NAPS has worked tirelessly to educate farmers, residents and government organizations on this essential issue on the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Learn more...