Horse Environmental Awareness Program - HEAP
Connecticut has the highest density of horses anywhere in the United States -- about 10 horses per square mile.
In addition to contributing to the economy of the state, horses provide a positive experience to those involved with them including children, adults, and the mentally and physically challenged.
The 50,000 horses in the state each eat about 20 lbs. of hay and grain, and drink about 80 lbs. of water per day. That adds up to a pile of manure -- about nine tons per year, and that doesn't include bedding! Proper management of manure and pastures is critical to the health of the horse and the protection of our lands and waterways.
Runoff from horse facilities of all sizes can carry soil and waste contaminants into watercourses, creating a non-point source of pollution. Sources of pollution carried in runoff include sediment, fertilizer, and pesticide residues, as well as nitrates, phosphates, organic matter, and fecal organisms from animal wastes. Contaminated runoff may also flow through the soil and threaten shallow or improperly cased wells down slope from animals or their wastes.
These pollutants may affect natural aquatic communities and humans alike.
Almost 100% of Connecticut's land drains to Long Island Sound. Activities in the state's farthest corners impact the Sound's water quality. Conscientious horse owners value our resources and take responsible action to protect them.
What is HEAP?
The Horse Environmental Awareness Program (HEAP) is a coalition of federal, state, and local agencies, organizations, and individuals interested in educating horse owners on Best Management Practices to protect the environment.
The efforts of the group are funded by educational funds available through the United States Department of Agriculture's Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)
Participating members include: