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

A Few Highlights from 2019

Dec 16, 2019
Through the generous support of our members and help from PEC's partners, a lot of great things have happened this year! We've pulled together this quick list of some of the highlights from 2019…

From the Blue Ridge to the Bay

Sep 15, 2019
In June, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, working with the Montpelier Foundation, donated three conservation easements to PEC that permanently protected 1,024 acres at James Madison’s…

A Dirty Secret: How Construction Waste is Making its Way Onto Rural Lands

Sep 15, 2019
Steve and Jennifer Rainwater's world was turned upside down in 2017 when an access road was built along their property line and hundreds of dump trucks started arriving to dump dirt, non-stop, on a…

Protecting the Goose Creek Watershed

Dec 14, 2018
PEC was recently awarded a $15,600 grant from the Virginia Environmental Endowment to further our work identifying and prioritizing opportunities to implement agricultural best management practices…

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…

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…

HUNTLY, VA: Recent work at Sprucepine Branch reconnected 2 miles of stream, as a set of culverts were removed from a private driveway, and replaced with a bridge. PEC coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Shenandoah Streamworks on the natural channel design and construction. The work included re-grading stream banks and in-stream structures that restored the natural hydrology of those streams.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries provided pre and post fish community monitoring.

SYRIA, VA. At the Robinson River, 350 linear feet of stream was restored to its natural channel, stabilizing banks from erosion, and ultimately removing sediment from going downstream to the Chesapeake Bay. In all, 5.3 miles of habitat was restored for aquatic species such as American eel and brook trout. PEC worked with USFWS, Shenandoah Streamworks, Trout Unlimited, and local landowners to complete this stream restoration project in April 2017. Monitoring for water quality, and fish population health with the help of partners of VA DGIF and TU.

Monitoring stream health involves measuring and recording long-term trends in stream conditions to measure success in conserving the Piedmont’s natural aquatic habitats and waterways. Since these streams eventually flow into larger waterways such as the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, the protection of headwater streams is important for water quality throughout the region.

Water quality, macroinvertebrate, fish populations, physical characteristics, etc.

Understanding the scope of a stream’s health is critical. Monitoring overall stream health includes many components, such as monitoring water quality, biological populations, and physical features of stream habitat. Monitoring water quality involves testing for the presence of common stream pollutants, from sediment to e-coli bacteria. Monitoring biological populations is important because strong populations of macroinvertebrate and fish species in Virginia’s streams are indicators of clean, healthy streams and diverse ecosystems. Observing the physical characteristics of a stream, such as erosion, can provide valuable qualitative information about the stream’s condition. From conserving Virginia’s aquatic wildlife to ensuring safe drinking water, the impacts of monitoring stream health are far-reaching and critical for a healthy ecosystem.

Supporting and promoting citizen science

One way PEC and its partner organizations work to monitor and protect these streams is through the help of citizen scientists. Citizen scientists are passionate citizens, like yourself, that conduct scientific research. PEC holds water quality events in the Thumb Run watershed and Loudoun County for people of all backgrounds. Volunteer activism helps preserve local communities and ecosystems, and is essential to protecting Virginia’s Piedmont.

How can I get involved? If you are interested in working with PEC as a citizen scientist, please follow this link to our volunteer form. There are also great watershed protection groups that focus on stream health monitoring throughout the PEC region.

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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