Chesapeake Bay Program

West Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Update

WV Chesapeake Bay Program Website

Fall/Winter 2012, Issue 10

Quick Links


U.S. EPA's Chesapeake Bay TMDL website


What's My Watershed?

In This Issue
Wanted: Rainfall Observers
WVDA Water Quality Update
Potomac Watershed Partnership
Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum Update
WV's Chesapeake Bay Progress
New Wastewater Treatment Plant
CAFO Update for WV
Cover Crops for the Bay
Elks Run Watershed Project in EPCD
Rain Barrel Drive
Invasive Species in Sugar Grove
WVDA Fair Update
Spotlight: Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition

Looking For Volunteer Rainfall Observers!

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network


The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow networkOBSERVERS

 CoCoRaHS Logo

Have you ever wondered how much rainfall you received from a thunderstorm? How about snowfall during a winter storm? If so then a new volunteer weather observing program needs your help! The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network, or CoCoRaHS, is looking for new volunteers. The grassroots effort is part of a growing national network of home-based and amateur rain spotters with a goal of providing a high density precipitation network that will supplement existing observations.Observations are immediately available on maps and reports for the public to view. For more information, Click Here.

WVDA Water Quality Monitoring Program Update 

Ashby Ruddle, Environmental Specialist, WVDA  


Starting July 1st, 2012, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture began sampling three new streams in West Virginia's portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Those streams are New Creek with 6 sites, Cabin Run with 3 sites and Little Cacapon River with 5 sites, which are all tested five times a month. The addition of these streams was due to the fact that they wereWVDA Water Quality Monitoring declared impaired by WV Department of Environmental Protection for Biological and/or Fecal Coliform. The Department of Agriculture is committed to promoting agriculture and improving local water quality. For a full list of streams monitored and parameters measured, click here. For more water quality information, or to request a presentation for your local group contact Ashby Ruddle, Environmental Specialist with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture at 304-538-2397 or aruddle@wvda.us.

Potomac Watershed Partnership Info Exchange- December 11, 2012

 Frank Rogers, Cacapon Institute


You are invited! Learn what is happening across the Potomac Basin and share what your organization is working on. PWP Information Exchanges are open to the public. Watershed volunteers and public officials are encouraged to attend.

The theme this year:

"Kids In The Wild:

Engaging K-12 Students in Environmental Educational Experiences."

December 11, 2012 (9 am - 3 pm).

It will be held at the  WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center,
2500 Foundation Way, Martinsburg, WV 25401 

Information Exchanges are free and open to the public. To RSVP or learn more email Frank Rodgers. Call (304) 856-1385 or go online.

Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

2012 Chesapeake Watershed Forum Update!

Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay 


Thanks to all for making this year's Chesapeake Watershed Forum a success. Over 350 people attended this year's event which is a record. If you missed any of the excellent workshop presentations do not fear for they are now posted on the Chesapeake Network site under the Resource section. If you are not signed up on the Network then go today at www.chesapeakenetwork.org and register so you can view the many different 2012 Forum presentations. Planning is underway for the 2013 Forum so save the dates for September 26 (Pre-Forum) and September 27 - 29 (Forum). Request for Proposals will be sent out sometime in January. 

Check out WV's Progress with the Chesapeake Bay's TMDL  

Chesapeake Bay Program 


The Chesapeake Bay TMDL Tracking and Accounting System (BayTAS) was developed to inform EPA, the Bay Jurisdictions, and the public on progress in implementing the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL). Future versions of BayTAS will include reporting of Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation and verification. Click Here to Check out WV's Progress!

 Track WV's Progress for the Chesapeake Bay


West Virginia~ Making Water Quality Improvements Step by Step

Carla Hardy- WVCA Watershed Program Coordinator


   Greetings! West Virginia's Tributary Strategy Team has shifted its focus towards implementation of positive water quality practices since the acceptance of the Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan by US EPA. This quarterly newsletter will highlight several of the proactive steps landowners, watershed associations, agencies and local entities are taking to make water quality improvements.

One of the most difficult aspects of implementation in these economically challenging times is often convincing stakeholders to spend the dollars necessary to make the improvements. By focusing on local water quality impacts and economic returns, the challenge becomes a bit easier. Farmers in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia have long been good stewards of the land they farm. With the assistance of the local conservation district, they are becoming more receptive to cover cropping in the winter. WVU Extension Service and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service are in the process of a series of educational cover crop meetings throughout the drainage to demonstrate the long term benefits of this practice. Our watershed associations continue to reach out to communities to spread public awareness of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution. It has been exciting to watch the progress and receive updates as the new Moorefield Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant continues construction. The local water quality improvements will be immediate the day this new system goes online.

   We encourage you to stay engaged in the process as West Virginia works to carry out the goals outlined in the final Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Total Maximum Daily Load. If you are interested in becoming involved or learning more about these ongoing activities, or if you are looking for a speaker for your organization, please contact Alana Hartman, WVDEP Potomac Basin Coordinator at 304.822.7266 or alana.c.hartman@wv.gov.


Collaborative Efforts Solve Wastewater Treatment Challenges for WV

Carla Hardy, West Virginia Conservation Agency


Construction of the Moorefield Wastewater Treatment Plant

   After over a decade of planning, the new Moorefield Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant is well underway with construction and will soon become a reality. Upon completion, it will be a significant nutrient reduction practice for West Virginia in meeting the Chesapeake Bay pollution control mandates. Lucas Gagnon, Town of Moorefield Public Works Director, stated, "Not only will we be making significant strides in meeting WV's TMDL, we will also be improving local water quality.  At start up, this plant will reduce total nitrogen loading by 90,000 pounds per year and total phosphorus by 93,000 pounds per year. This equates to a 32.3% reduction for total nitrogen and a 59.6% reduction for total phosphorus for the 2017 Bay Program goal. It will result in a 21.2% reduction for total nitrogen and a 34.2% reduction for total phosphorus for the 2025 goal. These reductions are based upon both the point and non-point source requirements." This is welcome news for the stakeholders of West Virginia who have been involved in the process of developing a watershed implementation plan to reduce nutrients and sediment from entering local waterways. For the full article and more information click here

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Regulation Update

John Halterman, West Virginia Department of Agriculture 

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation
Poultry Operations may classify as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation


   In 2001, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to regulate Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) under the Clean Water Act that defines CAFOs as a point source. On November 20, 2008, the EPA signed the CAFO regulation into federal law. In 2009, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) signed West Virginia's CAFO regulation into state law (47 CFR Series 10). On July 1st, 2010, the regulation became effective in West Virginia. 

   During the week of June 13-17, 2011, WVDA staff was involved in CAFO inspection training. Representatives from EPA Region III were in West Virginia conducting inspection training for WVDEP. Five poultry operations were selected for inspection from information gathered during flyovers on November 9-10, 2010. The inspections were performed by the EPA with WVDEP, West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA), WVU Extension, and company integrators in attendance.

   The WVDA staff will continue to work with producers to help them achieve their yield goals while ensuring compliance with WVDEP and EPA's CAFO rules and regulations. For more info, click here. 

Planting Cover Crops to Help the Chesapeake Bay Program

Barbie Elliot, West Virginia Conservation Agency


EPCD Planting Cover crops via helicopter
Cover crops being planted by air in the EPCD.

   The Agricultural Enhancement Program has experienced another successful year in implementing cover crops as a best management practice within the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District (EPCD). Through the Chesapeake Bay Program, EPCD was able to assist in cost sharing over $74,000.00 between October 5th and October 15th for plantings. The importance of planting cover crops behind a row crop is to establish ground cover before the winter. It is very important to not have bare soil during the winter months. Cover crops are one of the most efficient and cost effective practices to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loading. This year, several landowners in the panhandle are trying aerial seeding over their corn and beans.  The District will be working with the landowners to develop an economic analysis in the spring.  For more information on the EPCD's Agricultural Enhancement Program, contact Barbie Elliott at belliott@wvca.us or 304.263.4376. 

Current Elks Run Watershed Project- EPCD

Suzy Lucas, WVCA 

Septics Cost Share
The Elks Run Watershed Project will incorporate cost share on septic repair and replacement to reach its reduction goal in fecal coliform.


   Elks Run and its major tributary, Elk Branch, located in Jefferson County, were listed on the 303(d) list as impaired for biological criteria and fecal coliform bacteria. The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Selected Streams in the Potomac Direct Drains Watershed, West Virginia (January 2008) addressed these impairments for Elks Run and Elk Branch. It linked the biological impairment to organic enrichment and sedimentation, and prescribed fecal coliform and sediment load reductions from various sources in each of its 11 subwatersheds.

In 2011, WVCA received 319 funding for an incremental project in the Elks Run watershed in Jefferson County, WV. This project is intended to reduce fecal coliform and sediment loads in Elks Run watershed, Jefferson County, WV. The fecal coliform reduction goal is 7.67x1013 counts/year, through repair or replacement of 12 onsite sewage systems (septic systems). This grant offers cost share opportunities of 50% up to $3,000 to upgrade or repair Class I septic systems, and will cost share 50% up to $4,000 for Class II systems.

For more information, click here

Rain Barrel Drive in EPCD

Heather Ishman, Eastern Panhandle Conservation District


   During the summer of 2012, Eastern Panhandle Conservation District started a "Fair Special" to introduce rain barrels to Morgan, Jefferson, and Berkeley County homeowners. The kit was a simple, DIY project and the only extra tool needed by the homeowner was a power drill.

The system was totally enclosed and in the winter time when it is time to take down the rain barrel, the insert into the downspout is removed and a cover is put in its place. In the springtime, the process is reversed and set up is easy as that. The kits were sold for $20 and if the homeowner needed a barrel, it was an extra $10. Once a picture was returned back to the office by October 1, a full refund was given to the purchaser.

   The program was a great success due to the partnership with Bowman, Intl and Knouse Foods who provided the 55 gallon barrels. 100 kits were sold during the month of August and September and we continue to receive calls. The hope is in the spring the kits and barrels will be available again. Watch for more information in EPCD's quarterly newsletter and on the new Facebook page!

Brittany's Brush Busters: Fighting Invasive Species on the Naval Base

 Caroline Dunlap, USFWS AmeriCorps member

 CWPMA Newsletter


Brush busters Chris Martin, Brittany Callaham, Steven Niethamer & Jack Markham
Brush Busters Chris Martin, Brittany Callaham, Steven Niethamer & Jack Markham

   Brittany Callaham is not afraid to get her hands dirty. With her team of Brush Busters, she battles invasive plants that are choking out native species on the Sugar Grove Naval Base, located in Pendleton County, where she resides with her husband.

   A skilled entomologist with a passion for fighting weeds, the California native formed a group of hands-on weed warriors. With the help of Navy volunteers and the guidance of Environmental and Natural Resources Programs Director, Steven Niethamer, Brittany's Brush Busters were born.

Callaham's first offensive against the invasive plants took place on the most overgrown location on base. She recruited volunteers at orientation and through the base's POW, or Plan of the Week, which is read by all stationed Navy personnel. Brittany's Brush Busters have received a small, yet dedicated, turnout to her weekly event. She hopes that more people will join her to fight against non-native species, as they come to understand that invasive plants have serious impact on local flora and fauna diversity. For more information Click here. 


WVDA at a Fair Near You!

Ashby Ruddle, West Virginia Department of Agriculture


WVDA Public Display at Local Functions
The 2012 WVDA Public Display

   The West Virginia Department of Agriculture Moorefield Office has been increasing its presentence in West Virginia's portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to increase public awareness. This past summer, WVDA exhibited a display focusing on the Chesapeake Bay efforts, CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), Nutrient Management Plans, and water quality at the WV Poultry Festival, Berkeley County, Hampshire County, Jefferson County, Mineral County and Tri-County Fairs. While at the fairs, staff spoke to concerned citizens and producers about the programs WVDA is involved with. We hope you were able to speak to WVDA staff while in attendance at your fair. If not, feel free to contact the Moorefield office with any questions or comments you many have at 304-538-2397. We look forward to seeing you this summer.

Watershed Wednesday: Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition- Jefferson County,WV 

Caitlin Finnerty- Chesapeake Bay Program 


   In Jefferson County, W.Va., shaded streams trickle down the Blue Ridge Mountains into what will become the Potomac or Shenandoah rivers. The ridge is named "blue" for its characteristic purple-blue haze. No, this isn't some kind of rural smog, but isoprene, which the trees on the mountain release into the atmosphere.  

   Despite the pristine scenery found in this part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, a visit to Jefferson County on a rainy day can expose a darker side. Thanks to aging infrastructure, the county has faced flooded roads and a river that carries an unknown amount of pollutants.

Picture by Eoghann Irving
Picture from Eoghann Irving/ Flickr

Residents knew they had to take action to ensure their mountain's health. So, the Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition was born. And in just over 18 months, the non-profit organization has arranged stream cleanups, showcased stormwater management practices and monitored water quality in a stretch of the Shenandoah River. To view more Chesapeake Bay News, Click here for the Chesapeake Bay Website. 

About WV's Potomac Tributary Strategy Team
Fourteen percent (14%) of West Virginia drains into the Potomac River and on to the Chesapeake Bay. In June of 2002, Governor Bob Wise signed the Chesapeake Bay Program Water Quality Initiative Memorandum of Understanding. By signing this memo, West Virginia agreed to develop goals and objectives to reduce nutrient and sediment loading to the Chesapeake Bay. 

To help WV accomplish these goals, Project Teams began working in targeted watersheds. These groups build partnerships, gather funding, and identify priority projects that are most important to their local communities.

Reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment in local creeks and rivers will mean healthier water resources that are better able to sustain tourism, fishing, drinking water supplies, wildlife habitat, and other uses. Each one of us can act locally to help achieve these goals.


WV's Potomac Tributary Strategy Team