“Impervious surface” refers to all hard surfaces like paved roads, parking lots, roofs, and even highly compacted soils like sports fields. The problem with impervious surfaces is that they prevent the natural soaking of rainwater into the ground and slowly seeping into streams. Instead, the rain water accumulates and flows rapidly into storm drains. This results in severe harm to streams in three important ways.
All stream inhabitants are harmed by impervious surfaces, but some are more sensitive than others. Brook trout, for example, are not found in watersheds with more than 4% impervious surface. Some salamanders disappear from watersheds with as little as 0.3% impervious surface!
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