Watershed Newsletter -January 2021-www.pwswcd.org

Happy New Year
 District's Water Quality Volunteers!

2021: The Year of Plastic Pollution Awareness in Prince William County !
Water Quality Volunteers:
You Are Awesome!

2020 was a challenging year with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the District's Water Quality Programs volunteers did not relent their efforts in promoting water quality awareness around Prince William County waterways.

This commitment and passion of the Conservation District's volunteers in promoting the County's Green Community Goals go a long way. Their engagement in waterways cleanup (Adopt-A-Stream/pond), biological and chemical monitoring depicts volumes on why there is need to conserve and protect our environment and its natural resources.

This engagement also emphasizes on a change in human behaviors that pollute Prince William County's streams and waterbodies.

The issue of plastic materials in waterways, especially single used plastic bottles and plastic bags is of great concern. These plastic materials degrade into microplastics which is a big threat to aquatic lives and human health. In general, plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic wrappers are the most dominant materials in our local waterways. These items find their way into the Potomac River and then the Chesapeake Bay. Therefore, plastics and microplastics remain a challenging issue in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed today!
What is your pledge for the Environment in 2021?
* To reduce the use of plastic water bottles?
*To reduce the use of plastic grocery bags?
*To volunteer under the District's Water Quality Programs and promote water quality awareness for the present and future generation?

Together, we can all make a difference!

2020 Volunteers -Special
Adopt-A-Stream/ Adopt-A-Pond Volunteers

Spring 2020 Volunteers
  • Lake Ridge Deer Management and Conservation - Occoquan Watershed
  • Prince William Trails and Stream Coalition (PWTSC)- Occoquan River & Neabsco Creek
  • Princedale Ridgedale Community Pride- Neabsco Creek
  • Prince William Conservation Alliance - Cedar Run
  • Saar's Family - Bull Run
  • The Shoemaker Family - Bull Run
  • Woodbridge Potomac Civic Communities Associations ( WPCCA) - Neabsco Creek

Summer 2020 Volunteers

  • Belmont Bay Paddlers - Belmont Bay
  • Leopold's Preserve - Broad Run
  • Girl Scout Troop - Lake Ridge Occoquan
  • Manassas 1st Ward- Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints - Russia Branch
  • River of Grace Lutheran Church Manassas - Neabsco Creek
  • Serviclean Inc. - Neabsco Creek
  • Sea Troop 100 - Rocky Branch
  • Patriot Scuba - Occoquan River
  • Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition (PWTSC) - Occoquan River

Fall and Winter 2020

  • Advocate for Cleanup and Clear Waterways - Neabsco Creek
  • Friends of Occoquan - FOTO - Occoquan River
  • Merrimac Master Naturalists - Bull Run
  • Princedale Ridgedale Community Pride - Neabsco Creek
  • Prince William Conservation Alliance_ - Cedar Run
  • The Ross Family - Neabsco Creek
  • Troop 1833 - Little Bull Run Catharpin
  • Water Health Educators / George Mason Sustainability and Advocacy Students - Occoquan River

Special thanks to all the individuals, groups and families that came out for the 2020 Occoquan River Cleanup events!

Biological and Chemical Monitoring Volunteers, your data and input go a long way!
Airport Creek Team
Broad Run Team
Bull Run Team
Catharpin Creek Team
Cedar Run Team
Dewey's Creek Team
Flat Branch Team
Powell's Creek Team
Quantico Creek Team
Young's Branch Team
City of Manassas Team
Town of Dumfries Team

2021 Water Quality Programs Data and Milestone
Adopt-A-Stream/Pond Program

In 2019, over 1616 volunteers collected close to 35,950 pounds of debris from Prince William County's waterways. This registered an input of over 4,187 hours of volunteers' time thereby saving close to $106,475 of taxpayers money (independentsector.org).

In 2020 in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic challenges, 586 volunteers collected close to 17,440 pounds of debris from Prince William County waterways. This recorded an input of 1,869 hours of volunteers' time saving Prince William County close to $51,771 of taxpayers' money.
In 2020, the Conservation District registered close to 51.75 miles of cleaned up waterways compared to 76.5 miles in 2019.

Newly Adopted Sites/Environmental Stewardship Commitment
2020 saw over 25 new water quality awareness signs across Prince William County.
Special thanks to all the volunteers and groups that promote water quality awareness in the community!

Water Quality Monitoring Program

In 2020, the District added Chemical monitoring to its existing biological monitoring program. This brought in the City of Manassas and the Town of Dumfries to partner more and support water quality data in Prince William County.

This upgrade in chemical monitoring added 91 new monitoring sites. There was increase in the number of water quality monitoring sites from 19 biological sites to 110 citizen science monitoring sites in Prince William County.
All these programs also promote more water quality education among residents and students.
This data goes to the Virginia Save Our Streams (VASOS) and the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative databases (CMC) under supervision of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Jessica McCaulley joined the Conservation District staff in October 2020 as the Water Quality Assistant, replacing Natali Walker who is now working with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office full-time.

Jess has been a volunteer Water Quality Monitor with the District since 2016. She grew up in Manassas and then lived in southwest Virginia to attend college. Jess has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Radford University, and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural and Life Sciences from Virginia Tech.
As a Water Quality Assistant, Jess is excited to work with members of the community to help keep our waterways clean and healthy.
You can send an e-mail to Jess at waterqualityassistant@pwswcd.org to learn more about the water quality programs and how you can help.
Jess currently lives in Manassas with her husband and son, along with their rescue pup, Quill. They are of fond of hiking near a creek or river.
Upcoming Event

Saturday, February 6, 2021 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Stop Mowing, Start Growing!
3rd Annual, Native Plant Symposium for Beginners

A virtual conference on Zoom: Create a Beautiful Yard, save time & money, improve water quality, build habitat for pollinators and birds, etc.

Keynote Speaker: Alonso Abugattas,
The Capital Naturalist on social media and the Natural Resources Manager for Arlington County.

For more information and to register, go to:


Registration Fee: $5.00
Call 703-792-7070 for more details.

Thanks again for making a difference!
Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District is funded by Prince William County Public Works Department, Stormwater Management Branch, and through financial and administrative assistance provided by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Soil and Water Conservation.
Programs, activities and employment opportunities are available to all people regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or political affiliation. Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
PWSWCD,  8850 Rixlew Lane , Manassas, VA 20109, Ph.: 571-379-7514 ,Fax: 571-379-8305