Spring 2011, Issue 5
CB logo West Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Update     

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WVU Extension launches new CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) permit informational website - NEW!



May 7 - South Branch cleanup event throughout Hampshire County



Musselman High School wetland planting event was a success!  Click here for Cacapon Institute's rundown, with lots of great photos



Other project updates have been added to

our website's gallery. 

 Check them out and be inspired!


We hope you are taking advantage of opportunities to enjoy some spring sunshine and to improve the health of our local creeks and rivers.  Below you will read about trainings, planting events, and much more, sponsored by watershed groups, non-profits and state agencies.  Thank you for being engaged and involved in these projects.  Please forward this to friends and colleagues so that the momentum can continue to grow!  Happy Spring!

Do you have suggestions for the Phase II WIP?

EPA recently released the guide for developing a Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).  West Virginia's Phase II WIP will include more local details about how we will achieve the goals set forth in the Phase I WIP.  The West Virginia Chesapeake Bay Planning Team and other partners have begun soliciting feedback from local governments, planners, developers, wastewater plant operators, farmers and other stakeholders.  If you are a board member of a watershed association, environmental organization, Ruritan club, or other community group, please use the "Contact Us" feature at the top of our website to request involvement by the Planning Team.  Draft Phase II WIPs must be submitted to EPA by December 1, 2011.

Appalachian Watershed & Stream Monitors Program Continues to Grow with Assistance from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

by Kevin Stitzinger, Watershed Education Coordinator, The Mountain Institute


The classroom is the outdoors, the texts are a stream and its surrounding landscape, and the instructor is Mother Nature. The students are 175 sixth - twelfth graders from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia who, thanks to TMI and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), have been engaging in hands-on learning, involving the impact upstream waters have on their local water quality and the quality of water downstream.

A generous $75,000 grant from NFWF's Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants program was awarded to TMI in the fall of 2010 to continue offering the Appalachian Watershed & Stream Monitors program (AWSM). During the 2010 Small Watershed Grants competition, 116 applications were received by NFWF. TMI's proposal was one of only thirty-four grants awarded. Matching funding will be provided by Energy Corporation of America, Toyota USA Foundation, WV Department of Environmental Protection and the Schoenbaum Family Foundation

Click here to read more... 


WV DOH Partners Provide Spring Construction & Stormwater Training by Carla Hardy, WVCA

Over eighty six WVDOH Engineers and inspectors attended a two-day construction workshop held March 19th & 20th in Burlington, WV and along Corridor H.  The purpose of the training was to inform these key individuals of the most recent regulations in construction and expose them to some of the newest applications in erosion control and stormwater management.  This year's program partnered with the folks from Hanes Geo Components and the West Virginia Conservation Agency.  Bobby Starling with Hanes was the key-note presenter on Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG's) from EPA.  A field demonstration in the afternoon was organized at the  Vecellio & Grogan job site along the newest section of the Corridor.  Click here to view photos from the training....                                          


Fish Health Update on the South Branch

 by Melissa Merritt, Conservation Specialist, WVCA

Fish health survey

DNR measuring and weighing fish


In the spring of 2002 and 2006, large fish kills were observed in the South Branch of the Potomac River located in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Several fish species were affected, but the highest death toll occurred with golden redhorse suckers and smallmouth bass. While some specimens from the kills exhibited signs of distress such as gill abrasions and lesions, no singular cause was attributed to the kills. Immediately following the fish kill event of 2002, The WV Division of Natural Resources, partnering with the EPA, USGS, DEP, and WVDA, began conducting a study to determine the cause not only of these and other fish kills within the South Branch in the past, but also to protect water quality and aquatic life for the South Branch of the Potomac River in the future. Click here to read more...


Flowing Springs Park Open House and Volunteer Day

by Kristin Alexander, Potomac Valley Audubon Society



Volunteers at Flowing Springs

April 2nd was the first public event for the Flowing Springs Park in Ranson, WV.  The proposed park is at the headwaters of Flowing Springs Run, a small, but high-quality  tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The purpose of the day was to introduce community members to their proposed park, get their feedback and thoughts, as well as to get some good work done.


Thirty-five volunteers involved with various partner agencies came out to help lead activities including leading nature walks, picking up trash, removing invasive plants, getting rid of tires, and planting trees to protect the stream.  In addition, there were stations to talk about the history of the site and opportunities to look for crayfish and other critters in the stream.  In addition to all of the volunteer leaders, 32 adults and 7 children come out for the event to help.   


In all, 38 tires were removed, more than 80 bags of trash collected, 150 trees were planted,  a huge quantity of invasives were removed, and all of the visitors who stopped by were introduced to the future park and its resources.


The incredible partners involved with the day include City of Ranson, The Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute, Potomac Valley Audubon Society, The West Virginia Conservation Agency, WV Division of Forestry, WV Make it Shine, and WVU's Division of Forestry. Students from the WVU program led the history station, helped with the invasive removal, and helped introduce visitors to the site with maps.


Funding for the event was provided by the TogetherGreen grant received by PVAS and the City of Ranson last fall.  WV Project CommuniTree provided funding for the tree planting and deer fence as well.  

Suburban yards in West Virginia's Potomac BasinSurveying Lawn Care Habits

by Alana Hartman, WVDEP Potomac Basin Coordinator


In the previous issue, we asked you to complete an online survey about your lawn and garden fertilizing habits.  We received 12 responses from this initial survey.  In March, Mike Ball from the Eastern  Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council, known as "Region 9," launched a more robust online survey effort to better understand the residential fertilizing habits of people in the Potomac Basin.  Mike reports that 138 people responded to the survey, which closed on April 22.  See Region 9's website for results, to be posted soon.  Check the Region 9 website in early summer for educational information about lawn and garden care tips with the health of local streams in mind.  An education and outreach effort will be followed up by a survey later in the year to see if habits have changed as a result of the campaign, which is partly funded through a grant from the U.S. EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program.