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Rivanna River
Renaissance Conference

September 28, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Albemarle County Office Building
401 McIntire Rd.

DCR Grant: Healthy Lands, Healthy Waters Initiative

VCU scientists conduct survey of fish in area stream.

VCU scientists conduct survey of fish in area stream.

The Rivanna Healthy Waters Pilot Project will identify and accelerate protection and conservation of the ecological integrity of healthy streams in the Rivanna River basin. Local professionals from the Rivanna's community-based biological monitoring program, StreamWatch, will work with scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University to assess and identify "healthy waters" using a well-defined ecological integrity assessment protocol (INSTAR). The Rivanna River Basin Commission will work with its member localities in the watershed to provide data and to develop tools that will support local decision-making to enhance the protection of and help maintain the ecological integrity of "healthy streams." This project will provide a renewed focus of attention on and community resources for "keeping healthy streams healthy" while fostering increased stewardship of less healthy and impaired waters. As a pilot or demonstration project, the work in the Rivanna watershed will identify obstacles to implementing planning tools at the local level designed to provide protection for identified healthy waters.

Listen to the WVTF radio story by Sandy Hausman about the Healthy Waters project here.

Read more about StreamWatch's contribution to this important study.

EPA Healthy Watersheds

The objective of the federal Clean Water Act is to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters." While other EPA programs focus on restoring impaired waters, the Healthy Watersheds Initiative augments the watershed approach with proactive, holistic aquatic ecosystem conservation and protection. The Healthy Watersheds Initiative includes both assessment and management approaches that encourage states, local governments, watershed organizations, and others to take a strategic, systems approach to conserve healthy components of watersheds, and, therefore, avoid additional water quality impairments in the future.

Download EPA Fact Sheet (5.1Mb PDF) on Healthy Waters that highlights efforts of the Commission and its partners in protecting the waters of the Rivanna River basin.

Healthy Waters Initiative - Virginia

Key to protecting healthy streams is for localities to be able to identify them. The Rivanna River Pilot program adds a complete data set from a headwaters watershed in Virginia, the Rivanna, and one that already has an extensive data collection through the StreamWatch program. As Rivanna watershed data becomes available on INSTAR, regional and local planners, advocacy groups and individuals will have additional information to guide planning and land use decisions. For more information, click here.


The Rivanna River Basin Commission provides guidance for the stewardship of water and natural resources of the Rivanna River Basin and promotes activities by local, state, and federal governments, and by individuals, that foster resource stewardship for the environmental and economic health of the Basin.

Localities Greene Map Albemarle Map Charlottesville Map Fluvanna Map

The Commission has representatives from these jurisdictions and organizations.

Click below for more information about our member partners:

City of Charlottesville

Albemarle County

Fluvanna County

Greene County

Culpeper SWCD

Thomas Jefferson SWCD