What's Your Bay Footprint?
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Our Bay and its rivers and streams should be full of healthy waters and vibrant wildlife.

One reason they aren't healthy is widespread nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution. These pollutants block sunlight and cause algal blooms that suck up oxygen, killing off other plants and animals in what's called the "dead zone." But how much are you contributing to the Bay's dead zone? It's time to find out!

In partnership with the University of Virginia, we've developed a calculator that estimates your contribution of nitrogen pollution, which is a good relative indicator of your Bay Footprint. So, get your nitrogen grade and see how you stack up against your neighbors.

It'll take just a few minutes to take the calculator and get your pollution grade.

Let's Start!
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Section 1: Food

The typical American eats 74 portions of food per week. We've filled out the following list with this typical diet, which may or may not be similar to your own! By comparison, a vegan, consuming the same amount of calories, would typically eat 66 portions of fruits, vegetables, grains, and veggie protein. So, adjust the amounts to better fit the food you eat in an average week . . .

Next Question, Please!
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Section 2: Sewage

After you eat, it all has to . . . go . . . somewhere. What kind of system do you use?

Next Question, Please!
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Section 3: Home

What kind of home do you have?

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Section 4: Land

How big is your lot in acres? Estimate to the best of your ability:

How much of your land is covered by the following?

Do you have any of the following at your house?

Next Question, Please!
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Section 5: Transportation

Vehicle 1

Give me my score!
(You can use the tabs to go back and change your answers.)
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We crunched the numbers, checked them twice, and determined your score.


You contribute a total of pounds of nitrogen to the Bay and its waters each year. That's than the average person using this calculator. Now share the calculator far and wide! See if your friends and family can beat your score, or if you leave them in the dust.

Click on each category above to see how you stack up.

Algal bloom on the York River. Algal blooms are caused by an excess of nutrients, including nitrogen. PHOTO: Bill Portlock/CBF Staff
This website was developed under Assistant Agreement No. 83563201 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed are solely those of University of Virginia and CBF, and EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned.