West Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Update

WV Chesapeake Bay Program Website  

Fall 2015, Issue 20

Quick Links


U.S. EPA's Chesapeake Bay TMDL website


What's My Watershed?

In This Issue
New Faces- Meet Cindy Shreve
Sleepy Creek Tree Planting
Free Fall Webcast Series
Scrabble Tree Planting
Save Our Streams Workshop
PWP Information Exchange
Group Spotlight: Sleepy Creek Watershed Association
Weeders Find Hidden Treasures in Widmyer Wetlands
Cacapon Institute's Best Management Practice Tracker
WV Department Of Agriculture's Essay Contest
Environmental Literacy Grants Awarded
Watershed Film Making by Youth
People Making a Difference

 WV Department of Agriculture Cindy Shreve


 Cindy Shreve is the Agriculture Outreach Specialist with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, based out of Moorefield, WV. Although she may be located in Hardy County, her position covers the entire state of West Virginia. Cindy grew up on a beef and poultry farm in Mineral County. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from WVU. Currently, Cindy is also working with WVDEP and other Chesapeake Bay Partners to develop better best management practice tracking and reporting for West Virginia's agricultural sector goals for the Chesapeake Bay. 


Help Needed:
Sleepy Creek Tree Planting! 
Suzy Lucas, West Virginia Conservation Agency

260 trees will be planted on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 9am to 2pm on Spohrs Rd in Berkeley Springs, WV.  Make sure to bring a shovel, rake, and bucket!.  To RSVP, contact Suzy Lucas at 304-539-2682 or rlucas@wvca.us. For the full announcement, click here.   
Chesapeake Stormwater Network
Register for Free Fall Webcast Series  
Chesapeake Stormwater Network

The Chesapeake Stormwater Network's Fall webcast series is coming together nicely. All of their webcasts are offered for FREE but advanced registration is required. Some upcoming webcasts:

Thurs, Oct. 22: Managing Nutrients in Residential and Recreational Areas

Thurs. Nov. 12: Managing Nutrients on Golf Courses

Wed. Nov. 18: Becoming RiverWise! An Intro to Becoming a RiverWise Community

Wed. Dec. 2: Building Local Technical Capacity Networks for Small Scale Stormwater BMPs

To Register for any of these webcasts, click here.  

Help Needed: Scrabble Tree Planting 

Herb Peddicord, Chesapeake Bay Forester


 75 trees and shrubs will enhance the wildlife habitat along Rocky Marsh Run and help to filter pollutants and make the stream bank more stable. Through this effort, you will help to ensure more clean water for future generations! Bring water to drink, work gloves, a spade or shovel! Contact Herb Peddicord to RSVP: herb.f.peddicord@wv.gov or call 304-299-2665. To see full flier, click here.  

Save Our Streams Workshop

Travis Ferry, Trout Unlimited
Trout Unlimited and the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection will be hosting another Save Our Streams workshop on Friday October 16th, 2015 on a tributary to Seneca Creek. This workshop will be a bit more in depth than previous workshops as this will also be a water quality monitoring workshop/training for the new Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFHA) Conservation AmeriCorps.  The workshop will be from 9am-4pm and we will be meeting at the pull off on US Highway 33/WV Highway 55 near Whites Run Rd. We will provide lunch but please bring footwear appropriate for getting into the stream.  

Please RSVP to Travis Ferry at tferry@tu.org or 304-614-6699.

Save the Date!

Frank Rodgers, Cacapon Institute
The Potomac Watershed Partnership will host our Winter 2015 Information Exchange Tuesday, December 8, 2015 from 10:00 till 3:00 in Shepherdstown, WV.
The Exchange is free and open to the public.
Join watershed groups and non-profits, and local, state, and federal agencies from across the Potomac Basin and beyond. We will be discussing environmental initiatives including forest buffers, urban tree canopy, outreach efforts, forests' links to water supplies, and more! You are invited to share what your organization is doing. Email discussion ideas to Info@PotomacPartnership.Org.

War Memorial Building, 120 E. German St., Shepherdstown, WV 25433.  Brown bag lunch (local restaurants abound).

Please RSVP at www.PotomacPartnership.Org or by above email link with name, title, organization, email, and phone.
Chesapeake Bay News Restoration Spotlight: Butler Farms
An article from the Chesapeake Bay Program Website, written by Stephanie Smith
As the fourth-generation owner of Butler Farms, Todd Butler has been witness to plenty of changes over the years: a decline in the number of neighboring farms, a rise in residential development, a technology boom for farming equipment. And while some features have remained the same-the original farmhouse, barn and cattle gates are still standing-much of the farm's operation is dramatically different from when Butler's great-grandfather bought the land in 1919. Almost a century later, the 200-acre family dairy farm has grown to more than 1,000 acres, home to beef cattle, an apple orchard and a bird and deer hunting preserve.
Over the years, Butler and his father, Bill, have transformed their property into one of the top conservation farms in the Mountain State. A variety of practices-from streamside fencing to cover crops-help to reduce runoff and promote water quality. Cattle drink out of troughs rather than straight from streams, and their feed wagons are continuously moved to different locations to prevent a single area from getting trampled or polluted with manure. The farm's 72 apple orchard plots are farmed in strips; the land between each row of trees is left untouched to help slow the flow of water and prevent soil from washing away.
To read full article as published on the Chesapeake Bay Program website, click here.
Group Spotlight: Sleepy Creek Watershed Association 
Stan Oaks, Chuck Marsh, Sleepy Creek Watershed Association 
Members of the SCWA at a Save our Streams workshop
The mission of the Sleepy Creek Watershed Association (SCWA) is to protect the Sleepy Creek Watershed and to educate and assist community members to improve this irreplaceable natural resource for current and future generations. Since its inception in 1998, the Association has been active with landowners, West Virginia government agencies, and local civic organizations in educating people on the criticality of having clean water and supporting corresponding actions. SCWA is a 501c(3) not-for-profit corporation, is led by a 6-person board of directors, and has 150 members. Its jointly developed Sleepy Creek Watershed Assessment and Watershed Based Plan: Sleepy Creek, Potomac Direct Drains Watershed, continue to be the Association's guides for on-going activities and financial resource obtainment. Its volunteers participate in local community fairs and festivals to provide education opportunities and provide informative brochures that promote best practices for landowners and homeowners. In coordination with the WV Department of Environmental Protection and the Cacapon Institute, a trained team of SCWA volunteers annually perform and report Save Our Stream (SOS) water quality assessments at numerous locations within the watershed. To read the full article, click here.
Weeders Find Hidden Treasures in Widmyer Wetlands
Submitted by Suzy Lucas, Conservation Specialist, WVCA
Volunteers from the Warm Springs Watershed Association took care of weeding the Widmyer Wetlands.
On September 16, 10 members of the Warm Springs Watershed Association (WSWA) met to weed the path through the Widmyer wetlands. Weeding the wetlands is part of the maintenance agreement between WSWA, the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, which reestablished the wetlands in 2009, and the Morgan County Board of Education, on whose land the wetlands were built. While wetlands normally require little or no maintenance, in this case it's important to keep the path open so that the area is accessible. Several high school science classes use the wetlands as an outdoor laboratory and members of the community can be seen walking through the wetlands on a regular basis.
 To read the full article, click here.
WV Wants to Know: What's Your BMP?
Kat Cooper, Cacapon Institute
The Cacapon Institute is creating a reporting tool to allow volunteers to report best management practices.

West Virginians across the Potomac basin have been working hard to protect our streams and rivers by implementing a variety of watershed and stormwater BMPs (best management practices). Cacapon Institute, working with the WV DEP, Conservation Agency, and Division of Forestry, has created a 5-minute online reporting tool where people can tell us what trees they have planted.  Soon the tool will be expanded so other BMPs can be reported and recognized for their benefit to WV's local waters, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay.
     We are creating BMP planting reporting tools so private citizens, community leaders, businesses, schools, and organizations in the Eastern Panhandle can report their voluntary watershed conservation BMPs. In addition to tree plantings, citizens will soon be able to report practices such as rain gardens, rain barrels and cisterns, permeable pavers, conservation landscaping, and downspout disconnection.  What have you been doing to reduce stormwater runoff pollution?
      Forests are the gold standard for watershed protection.  Even a single tree will reduce stormwater runoff pollution.  Every tree counts!  So head over to www.CacaponInstitute.org and click on "What's your BMP?" to tell us what trees you and your group have planted since 2014.  We want to hear about your watershed conservation efforts!
       If you have questions or comments on, or suggestions for, our BMP reporting tool contact Katherine "Kat" Cooper, Cacapon Institute's Watershed BMP Specialist, at  KCooper@CacaponInstitute.org.
WV Students Encouraged to Showcase Talents
Cindy Shreve, WV Department of Agriculture 

West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Day at the Legislature is an opportunity for state and federal agencies to exhibit a display at the Capitol. This special day is scheduled for January 20, 2016.
As a celebration of agriculture and in recognition of this special day, West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is sponsoring a poster contest and two separate essay contests. The theme will be the same as the National Ag Day theme; Agriculture: Stewards of a Healthy Planet. This theme compliments the Chesapeake Bay Program's goals, as well as provides awareness of one of the key land uses in the watershed. Students in grades 1 through 12 are encouraged to showcase their talents in their grade appropriate contest. The winning entry for each contest will be displayed state-wide and recognized at the Capitol on January 20.
For rules/guidelines and entry forms, please refer to WVDA's website or contact Cindy Shreve, Agriculture Outreach Specialist at 304-538-2397.
Environmental Literacy Planning Grant Awarded to Three WV School Systems 
  Submitted by Kellee Waddell, Education Coordinator, Appalachian Program, The Mountain Institute

The Mountain Institute, in partnership with WV Sustainable Schools, is pleased to announce that three West Virginia school systems have been awarded the Sustainable Steps - Environmental Literacy Planning Grant. Morgan, Preston and Tucker county schools have each been awarded up to $2000 to help educators develop, revise, or improve an existing environmental literacy plan. Grant recipients will also receive training and assistance with the Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool (ELIT), an online survey used by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to help school systems conduct a comprehensive self-assessment of their environmental education programs. This process will inform continuous improvement efforts and help measure progress towards the environmental literacy goals and outcomes described in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
Pilot Program Allows Students to Engage with Watersheds Via Film Making
David Lillard, Special Projects Manager, West Virginia Rivers Coalition 
OneWatershed student filmmakers shoot a segment on the Cacapon River.

Environmental stewardship youth engagement programs aren't what they used to be. A generation ago, most kids grew up spending lots of free time outdoors-those connections to nature are how many people first learn environmental ethics. And back then, there weren't so many exciting activities competing for teens' attention. Environmental educators and mentors have had to change their approaches.
So when West Virginia Rivers Coalition planned a pilot youth engagement program focusing on two Chesapeake Bay tributaries, we did a lot before we put pen to paper.
The resulting program is OneWatershed, a scheme to empower youth as ambassadors and leaders that we marketed as a film school. Our recruitment invitation says it all: "Are you an aspiring storyteller or filmmaker? Want to learn to make films and produce news by telling the stories of Warm Springs Run and the Cacapon?
Our planning team identified a terrific retired television producer, Jack Kelly. Jack's first idea was to dump any notion of using conventional cameras. "If we want kids to make films on their own, and upload those films the web," he said, "we've got to train them how to use those things in their pockets or backpack."
Seven teens attended the pilot program. They all say they learned way more than they thought they would. But it's safe to say we adults learned so much more from our teen filmmakers: about how kids naturally know how to collaborate with people different from them; about how they are capable of using technology to explore being human-not detract from it; and how their approaches to environmental stewardship are going to different than their parents', and that's okay.
We're sorting through the practical lessons of the pilot, especially how the model can be both effective and replicated watershed to watershed.
We'd love to hear from watershed groups in West Virginia who are engaging youth in stewardship and leadership. Check out some of our short videos at www.wvrivers.org/news/onewatershed, and let us know what you think.
David Lillard is special projects manager with West Virginia Rivers Coalition. Reach him at dlillard@wvrivers.org or 304-876-2860.
 To read the full article, click here. 
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