Clean Water

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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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? 

What will installing a buffer cost me?

The Headwater Buffer Initiative is a voluntary program that covers 100% of the costs associated with the design and installation of riparian buffers.

Who qualifies?

Your property needs to be located in the Upper Rappahannock River watershed (this includes the Rapidan and all other sub-watersheds). The watershed covers parts of Rappahannock, Fauquier, Culpeper, Greene, Madison, and Orange Counties. In addition:

    • The property needs to have a body of water. i.e. stream, creek, river, pond, or wetland area.
    • If the property has livestock, there must be exclusion fencing protecting the area proposed for planting.
    • The project cannot fulfill any regulatory requirements for replanting or mitigation associated with development or other permitted projects.

Who will provide the services outlined in this program?

This program is a partnership between the Piedmont Environmental Council and Friends of the Rappahannock. A representative from either non-profit organization will contact you to schedule site visits and coordinate with you throughout the duration of the project. We work with a wide range of partners and rely on our members, volunteers, and local students to assist with the installation of projects.

What kind of plants do you plant?

The program will follow local riparian buffer guidelines provided by the Virginia Department of Forestry and other partners. Projects generally include all native hardwood trees and shrubs. We try to incorporate species that will provide additional wildlife benefits by bearing nuts and fruits. Ex: Pin Oak, White Oak, Hazelnut, Black Willow, Sycamore, Dogwood, Red Bud etc.  

What is covered by the program?

This program will cover 100% of the costs of technical assistance, project design, materials, and installation.

How big does the project have to be to qualify?

This program is designed to enhance existing ripairan buffers and establish new riparian buffers and does not yet have specific project size criteria. 

How long does it take to get my buffer?

A representative from our partnership will respond to your inquiry within 2 weeks to discuss the project. Site visits, project design, ordering of materials, and installation will vary based on the time of year and availability of materials and volunteers. Project installation generally takes 1-2 days. 

Why do you use tree tubes?

Buffer projects use small tree saplings generally 18"-24" tall. These saplings are suceptible to a variety of stressors including grazing by wildlife. Tree tubes are used to protect the saplings and ensure their survival. We recommend keeping the tree tube in place for 3-5 years to ensure the health and survival of the project.

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This joint project of Friends of the Rappahannock and The Piedmont Environmental Council is made possible through generous funding by the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, Environmental Protection Agency, Virginia Department of Forestry, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and PEC's Krebser Fund for Rappahannock County Conservation.

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