State of the Streams Loudoun County: 2005 Loudoun Strategic Watershed Management Planning ConferenceFebruary 23, 2006Presented by:Darrell SchwalmLoudoun Watershed WatchLoudoun Wildlife Conservancy
Loudoun Watershed Watch formed in 2001 as an alliance of citizen groups and county authorities concerned about stream quality • Goal #1 – provide a forum for collaboration among citizen and county stakeholders • Goal #2 – Compile water quality and stream health data and make it available to the public • Goal #3 – Provide stream quality educational materials and stream stewardship projects
LWW distributed the first Loudoun watershed map and activity guide for Loudoun's 37,000 public school students. LWW distributed a summary report on stream health in Loudoun County LWW organized the Catoctin Watershed Project to support TMDL implementation LWW – Accomplishments
Compiled countywide stream monitoring data and published, State of Loudoun Streams: 2002 Report. Prepared “Comprehensive Stream Monitoring Strategy for Loudoun County” Maintains a website with stream monitoring data and educational materials www.loudounwatershedwatch.org
Catoctin Watershed Project • Catoctin Riparian Buffer Restoration Projects in 2005 and 2006 • Catoctin Creek Canoe Clean-up with Boy Scouts in 2005 and 2006 • Bacteriological monitoring since June 2005 to present
Loudoun Family Stream Day 2002 – Rust Sanctuary, Leesburg 2003 – Ashburn Park and Library 2004 & 2005 – Broadlands Community Center
Watershed Planning – Key Components1 Establish Watershed Management Framework Identify Key Stakeholders Evaluate Current State of the Watershed Establish a Collective Vision Set a Clear Strategy Establish a Process for Applying the Watershed Plans 1 “Local Watershed Management Planning in Virginia,” VA DCR
State of Streams: 2005 • An updated water quality assessment of Loudoun County streams • Measures impacts on streams from land uses • Characteristics assesses: • Physical and biological water quality parameters • Aquatic biota, stream habitat, and riparian buffers • Characteristics not assessed: • Channel stabilization and erosion potential • Water flow and storage • Threatened and endangered wildlife species
DEQ’s Water Pollution Studies • DEQ conducted four bacteria and one benthic TMDL studies in Loudoun County • Studies identified pollution sources and calculated steps needed to restore water quality. • Provides the type of data needed to take action to clean up Loudoun waters.
Executive Summary Chapters: Introduction Assessing Stream Health Impaired Stream Water Countywide Monitoring Recommendations Watershed Profiles: Beaverdam Creek Catoctin Creek Limestone Branch Lower Goose Creek NF Goose Creek Piney Run State of Streams: 2005Table of Contents
Findings: Impaired Waters Impaired Waters – Loudoun streams are impaired – they don’t meet state water quality standards and they are often not safe for recreational use: Sugarland Run Broad Run Goose Creek Sycolin Creek Tuscarora Creek Little River NF Goose Creek Beaverdam Creek Catoctin Creek NF Catoctin Creek SF Catoctin Creek Piney Run Limestone Branch
Findings: Sources of Nonpoint Pollution Fecal pollution from livestock with access to streams is the #1 cause of impairments
Findings: Impact of Agricultural Land Uses Streambank erosion is filling our streams with sediments that destroy habitat for aquatic life and pollute the Chesapeake Bay
Findings: Impact of Impervious Surfaces Development is destroying riparian buffers, increasing stream flows, and eroding stream banks
Findings: Impact of Stormwater Flows High volume stormwater flows in urban areas are polluting our streams and erode stream banks
Findings: Impact of Inadequate BMPs BMPs do not protecting against down-stream erosion and property damage
Findings: Stream Habitats Flooding, erosion and sediments are creating poor habitat conditions for aquatic life in many streams
Loudoun County must develop plans to implement the Federal Clean Water Act, the Chesapeake Bay Act, and Virginia Water Quality Standards Watershed Management Planning!
Loudoun Water Management Authority! Loudoun County should create a water management authority to develop watershed management plans for each watershed, and oversee initiatives to restore the quality of Loudoun streams
Countywide Stream Monitoring Program! Loudoun County needs a countywide stream monitoring program to provide data to develop watershed plans, and to assess impacts of new BMPs on water quality and stream health.
Collaboration between State, County, and Citizens! We need to combine resources to tackle water pollution: • DEQ • DCR • Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District • Loudoun County Health Department • Loudoun County Building and Development • Loudoun County General Services, Public Works • Loudoun County Planning • Loudoun County Sanitation Authority • Citizen Groups
Government--Citizen partnerships are the best way to solve problems like these . . .
Where to Find Information About Water Quality and Stream Health Websites: • www.LoudounWatershedWatch.org • www.Loudounwildlife.org • www.Audubonnaturalist.org Sites Include: • Educational Materials • Water Quality Data • LWW State of Loudoun Streams Reports • Catoctin Watershed Project Activities