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August 2010 News

Rivanna Vicinity Land Cover Map Now Available

A sophisticated GIS tool that covers Greene, Fluvanna, and Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville (thus all of the Rivanna watershed) has been completed. The map product shows impervious features identified from 2009 aerial photography with a 1-foot resolution, along with hydrological features, deciduous tree cover, evergreen tree cover, open land, pine plantation (from evergreen tree cover), forest harvest, orchard/vineyard, bare earth and golf courses (from open land). This map product is available for download and is especially useful for evaluating conservation priorities and land use impacts on stream health. [GIS software required for viewing and working with the data.]
 

Stormwater Studies for Greene & Fluvanna Counties
In July, RRBC coordinated field days in Fluvanna and Greene counties to evaluate opportunities to retrofit stormwater facilities on publicly owned lands as part of the National Fish and Wildlife stormwater grant to RRBC. The Center for Watershed Protection led teams of elected officials, teachers, and staff in the evaluation process, which will result in plans that each county can use for allocating or seeking future funding for upgrades. Showcasing best management practices on public lands is a great way to demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of keeping stormwater out of area streams by allowing it to infiltrate and recharge the groundwater.

Stormwater Monitoring of Biofilter Commences
The biofilter installed outside the Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center at Charlottesville High School is now being monitored for its effectiveness in removing pollutants from rainwater runoff. With project management support from TJPDC and sampling and lab assistance from students at the University of Virginia, project partners will also help RRBC evaluate how well the biofilter reduces excessive flows to the receiving stream. Excessive flows from impervious surfaces such as parking lots, driveways, roofs and walkways is one the greatest impacts on Rivanna waterways, resulting in scouring of banks and excessive sediment that smothers aquatic life. RRBC provided funds to help construct the bioswale and, through the NFWF grant, the resources to conduct monitoring activities.

September 12: Natural Attractions at Greene Park
With the help of RRBC, Greene County Community Park will host an afternoon of fun and education for citizens of all ages from 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday, September 12 (rain date the following Sunday). Exhibits and activities will provide opportunities to test water quality, learn about aquatic life in the stream, find out about plans to manage rainwater at the park, and identify native trees and plants. This event is being coordinated with help from the Rivanna Conservation Society and will encourage local citizens to enjoy all that the park has to offer. For more information, contact Stephanie Golon at 985-5282.

Bay TMDL: Piedmont Regional Pilot Project
RRBC has teamed up with the Thomas Jefferson SWCD, Culpeper SWCD, and TJPDC to provide timely and accurate information about how the Bay TMDL will likely impact local governments in our region. Through a series of focus groups, the project team will solicit input from farmers, developers, waste treatment plant and MS4 permit holders, and others who will be affected by the TMDL, which requires that at least 60% of the pollution reductions across the watershed are in place by 2017. RRBC is providing coordination for the project and acts as liaison to EPA, who selected RRBC's proposal to be one of seven pilot projects around the entire Bay watershed. For more information, contact Leslie Middleton.

Public Comment Period for Bay TMDL
The development of a “pollution diet” (or TMDL, Total Daily Maximum Load) for the Chesapeake Bay is underway by EPA, with an aggressive timeline to meet water quality goals by 2025 by reducing the loading of nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment to the Bay and its tributaries. The draft Bay TMDL will be available for public comment from September 24 to November 8, 2010. Each Bay state has been preparing a Phase 1 Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) that suggests how pollution loads will be allocated to different source sectors (agriculture, development, urban stormwater, etc.). The Virginia draft WIP will also be open to public comment at the same time. RRBC Executive Director, Leslie Middleton, serves on Virginia's Stakeholder Advisory Group, which provides input to the Virginia DEQ and DCR on aspects of the draft WIP.

New Faces at the RRBC
The Commission welcomed Mr. Marvin Moss, who was appointed to the RRBC by Fluvanna County as its citizen representative in June 2010.  Mr. Moss takes the place of Mr. Andy Wilson, who served on the Commission from its first meeting in April 2007.
Upcoming Meetings

RRBC Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
September 18, 2010
9 am - 12 noon

Natural Attractions at Greene County Park
Sunday, September 12
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

RRBC Meeting
October 25, 2010
12 pm - 2 pm

RRBC Meeting
December 13, 2010
12 pm - 2 pm

What's New?
RRBC participating on Virginia's Stakeholder's Advisory Committee
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