Like any community, we have leaves and other plant debris that ends up in streets, gutters and storm sewers. Unlike "above sea level" communities, these wastes can create SERIOUS problems. Why? Since our storm water infrastructure is somewhat lacking, many lines simply don't have the capacity to handle a real downpour. Now - add a bunch of leaves, grass clippings and other yard wastes and you've got a real potential for flooding.
These same yard wastes also pose an environmental threat. Leaves and especially grass clippings contain a fair amount of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, etc. As these organic materials decompose, they release these nutrients, which can then enter bays, creeks, and other estuaries via the storm water system. High nutrient levels in these water resources can result in a variety of negative environmental impacts including algae blooms and fish kills.
It always raises my hackles (whatever that means) whenever I see mow-blow-go guys routinely blowing leaves and grass clippings in to the street. I guess there's not much that can be done about that - but hopefully we can help address these issues by properly disposing of our lawn and garden wastes.