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(WUSA) -- Several local communities want to make it easier for you to tacklestormwater on your property. That's the water that runs off your roof and through your yard after a big rain storm.

Starting this month, you can apply for grants to help improve your soil or replace paved surfaces that don't let water through with something that will. That could be a driveway, a patio, or even a sidewalk. Taking such steps will let the rain water be naturally filtered by the soil, rather than just running off into a storm drain or sewer filled with all kinds of pollutants that would ultimately reach Chesapeake Bay.

Pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorous, which are common in lawn fertilizer, are some of the biggest threats to the Bay. In warm weather, algae feed on the compounds, and then bloom stealing oxygen from fish, crabs, oysters and other wildlife. That, in turn, contributes to the growth of the Dead Zone in the Bay each year.

Several local programs offer rebates for replacing sod or turf, impervious surfaces, installing rain barrels and planting native trees. We have links to the programs in several communities listed below:

Frederick County, Maryland is planning a program in 2014, but details have not yet been released.