Clean Water

Beaver Creek Reservoir, Albemarle County

To protect the water we drink, we need clean air, expansive forests, responsible farms, wooded stream banks, and communities and individuals who make choices to avoid pollution.

 

 

Conserving Water

By reducing impervious surface.

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Land conservation and land use planning/advocacy are the primary ways that PEC works to reduce impervious surfaces.
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Improving Water Quality

Through land management.

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From rural to suburban to urban, there are best management practices (native plantings, livestock fencing) that make water cleaner.
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Restoring Connections

By removing barriers.

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Culverts, low-water crossings and linear infrastructure (i.e. pipelines, highways) can serve as disruptions to healthy stream flow.
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Measuring Success

Through stream monitoring.

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Monitoring water quality, biological populations, and physical features of stream habitat are all vital to understanding stream health.
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From the Piedmont View

The following articles appeared in PEC's Membership Newsletter -- The Piedmont View

On the Ground -- Summer 2017

Jun 15, 2017
Updates from the around the PEC region, organized by county. Albemarle: Utility Scale Photovoltaic Power Generation Sites in Albemarle. Clarke: Zoning, Planning and Conservation Updates. Culpeper:…

President's Letter - Summer 2017

Jun 15, 2017
Some may not know that PEC is also the fiscal sponsor for the Coalition for Smarter Growth, an organization that focuses on planning and policies that support the best possible solutions for the…

Headwater Stream Initiative kicks off!

Sep 22, 2016
Do you own land along a stream? If so, then you may be interested in the Headwater Stream Initiative, a joint project from PEC and Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR). The initiative provides free…

Grazing Along

Jun 06, 2016
A large herd of fluffy, yet still intimidating, sheep run full speed through a gate as they’re rotated to an alternate pasture at Over Jordan Farm in Flint Hill, Va. “I don’t use herding dogs. The…

Fenced in at Roundabout Meadows

Sep 22, 2016
Polluted water is not only bad for us and the environment, but it’s bad for livestock as well,” says Celia Vuocolo, habitat and stewardship specialist at PEC. A significant stewardship project is…

Good News for the Brook Trout

Mar 18, 2016
We’re continuing our efforts to increase the habitat available to the eastern brook trout and other fish species with two pilot culvert removal projects...

Riparian buffers are the vegetated areas along rivers, streams, creeks, and other waterways. These areas are the single most effective means of protecting water resources throughout the Chesapeake Bay. Waterways protected by a healthy riparian buffer are cleaner, cooler, and provide better habitat for fish, wildlife, and livestock than a stream with exposed or un-vegetated banks.

Answers to the following questions

    • What will it cost me?
    • Who qualifies?
    • Who will provide the services outlined in this program?
    • What kind of plants do you plant?
    • What is covered by the program?
    • How big does the project have to be to qualify?
    • How long does it take to get my buffer?
    • Why do you use tree tubes?

Planting riparian buffers along native trout streams is a priority for the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) and Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR). Many of the headwater streams of the Upper Rappahannock watershed support Eastern brook trout, the only trout species native to Virginia. Most of the brook trout streams in the Headwater Stream Initiative region are in Rappahannock and Madison Counties.

Learn more about the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and Soil & Water Conservation District Ag BMP cost-share programs.


Rivanna Reservoir. Photo by Patricia Temples

Locally, what we do in our backyards matters to downstream users. Activities on land can increase the amount of pollution that enters waterways, from car oils and fuels, to fertilizers and animal waste. All pollution moves with water and sediment and rates of pollution can increase where there is erosion along streambanks in rural settings, or where there is increased impervious surfaces like pavement and rooftops in urban areas.

Land conservation, land use planning, green infrastructure and advocacy are PEC’s primary methods for reducing impervious surfaces. 

Land conservation

PEC has helped landowners permanently protect nearly 370,000 acres of rural or natural land. Conservation Easements help ensure that the Virginia Piedmont is always characterized by its open spaces, healthy environment, and cultural resources. PEC’s commitment to stewardship of conserved lands will ensure that much of this region’s valuable farmland, forests, wetlands, scenic countryside and historic heritage are forever protected. 

Land use

Efforts to maximize good land use, ranging from farming and forestry to cities and suburbs work to meet PEC’s water conservation goals. Land use practices involving energy, agricultural practices, and urban and industrial development have a major impact on the available water supply.  

Loudoun's Clean Stream Coalition

The following articles were posted by Loudoun's Clean Stream Coalition

  • Curious About the Streams Near You?

    Check out this great interactive map and find out more about your local stream conditions in Loudoun! Read More
  • History of the Chesapeake Bay Act in Virginia

    The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (“the Bay Act”) was originally adopted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988, taking effect in 84 localities, including suburban and urban communities like Fairfax, Alexandria and Richmond, and rural counties like Caroline, King William and Chesterfield. The General Assembly of Virginia passed the Bay Act in an effort to promote “the general welfare of the people of the Commonwealth” (section 10.1-2100) by protecting the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries (i.e. all bodies of water that ultimately flow to the Bay and thus constitute the Bay’s watershed), and other state waters. [i] Read More
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    Can a Horse Farm Improve Our Streams?

    Some citizens in the Commonwealth have been able to put into place innovative practices to protect the local streams from polluted runoff. This article is about how the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District, together with Oakwood Farm, have developed a cooperative model “Chesapeake Bay-Friendly Horse Farm”. Read More

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