In Albemarle County, streams and rivers provide local residents with clean drinking water, beautiful vistas, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation. Creeks and streams in the Rivanna River watershed flow into our local reservoirs, which are the local sources for clean drinking water in the Albemarle urban area, the City of Charlottesville, and the University of Virginia.
Unfortunately, a large portion of these streams are considered fair or poor in terms of their water quality.
According to Albemarle County, “56% of the stream/river miles that Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has tested in Albemarle County are currently impaired.”
Join us in working toward improving the health of our local streams, by participating in Albemarle County’s Stream Health Initiative going on this year.
“The goal of the Stream Health Initiative is to develop recommended strategies for improving stream health in Albemarle County using a collaborative and inclusive process.”
PEC will advocate for continued prioritization of land conservation, in addition to appropriate land use development, riparian buffer plantings, and reduction of impervious surfaces near our streams, rivers, and lakes.
There are many different ways to participate, ranging from learning new information to providing citizen input or serving as a stakeholder. You can get engaged in the following ways:
Attend the Community Kickoff Meeting
Participants will hear a brief introduction to the topic of stream health, including the current conditions of our waters, and learn about the timeline and ways to participate.
Evening Option: Thursday, January 21, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Meeting info and Zoom link >>
Afternoon Option: Friday, January 22, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Meeting info and Zoom link >>
Fill out the Short Online Questionnaire
This 9-question survey will help the county figure out which stakeholders are interested in the stream initiative and which topics people are interested in learning more about. Fill out the questionnaire >>
Attend the Community Learning Series
- Community Kickoff Meeting → January 21 (6-7 PM) or January 22 (12-1 PM)
- Stage 1: Discover → January-March 2021
Stage 1 is focused on building a shared understanding of the current condition of our waters and identifying challenges related to improving stream health in the Rural Areas. We will provide you with opportunities to share your expertise, knowledge, and experience. Input provided will be used to guide the focus of discussions and design recommendations for subsequent stages of the project.
Fill out the online questionnaire >>
- Stage 2: Define → April-June 2021
Stage 2 will involve identifying the challenges we face and opportunities to work together to achieve mutual goals. We will explore different concepts and innovative solutions for improving stream health in the Rural Areas and discuss options we might pursue in Albemarle County. During this stage, County staff will collaborate primarily with the Stakeholder Work Group but will continue to receive input from the public and adjust our approach as needed.
- Stage 3: Develop → July-September 2021
The focus of Stage 3 is the development and review of specific proposals to improve stream health in the Rural Areas. Opportunities for collaboration between County Staff and the Stakeholder Work Group will continue, with a focus on evaluation and finalization of the proposals. In this stage, we will involve the BOS and Planning Commission to provide input and help work through the details and feasibility of each proposal. In an open and transparent process, we will maintain a continuous feedback loop of providing information and receiving input from the public.
- Stage 4: Decide → October-December 2021
Stage 4 of the project is when final decisions will be made about how the County will move forward with improving stream health in the Rural Areas. The final proposals will be presented to the BOS and public hearings will allow for any final input from the public to be heard. Implementation of the selected strategies and solutions will extend beyond this timeframe.
Your team at The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) will be taking part throughout the Stream Health Initiative process, and we hope you will too!
Please share this with your friends, family, and community members.
If you want to know more about PEC and how we protect the streams and natural resources in the Virginia Piedmont, please visit our website. While you’re at it, take a look at our newly published story map that describes some of our recent work in the Charlottesville/Albemarle region.
Questions? Contact PEC’s Albemarle County/Charlottesville field representative, Chris Hawk, at firstname.lastname@example.org.