Subject: FOMR March Newsletter

Upcoming Events in April:

April 3, 6, 10, 13 - Spring Benthic Monitoring at 9 sites

April 7 - Free Screening of Gasland Part II at Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg

April 12 - Earth Day Staunton - come visit FOMR at Earth Day

April 13 - "Kites & Critters" along Poague Run in Staunton

April 17 - Wild Virginia's WILD & SCENIC Film Festival at Visulite Theater in Staunton

April 27 - Bird Walk and/or Bird Watch Canoe Float along Middle River in Ft Defiance.  Join us at 535 Bailey Road in Ft. Defiance at 11:00 AM.  Please register here to reserve a canoe space if you want to bird watch from a canoe.
Middle River Watershed News & Notes

Headwaters SWCD has received a grant for a multi-year program called the Middle River Project.

     "Livestock with uncontrolled access to streams in the Upper Middle River contribute to excess nutrient, pathogen, and sediment inputs that are having a negative impact on waters in the Shenandoah Valley and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.

     This project will focus on the impaired stream segments of Eidson Creek (PS01), Bell Creek (PS04), and Moffett Creek (PS05) within the Upper Middle River watershed with concentrated focus on the special needs of non-operator farm landowners and renters including a growing female community. These segments make up approximately 67,037 acres and are being targeted because they are known to be the three worst of the impaired stream segments with little current activity."

To learn more about the goals of the Middle River Project, please click here.
Why do farmers fence their livestock out of streams?

     Bobby Whitescarver, in his blog Getting More on the Ground, has an excellent blog entitled "Why do farmers fence their livestock out of streams?" in which Dr. John Wise highlights the benefits of livestock stream exclusion for cattle farmers.  Bobby's blog also lists testimonials from other farmers on the benefits of fencing out their livestock.
What is a TMDL?
     There is a lot of talk about TMDLs in watershed news.  Do you know what it means and how it relates to the conversation about water quality for the Middle River?

     From the DEQ Publication Water Quality Improvement Plan for Middle River, Moffett Creek, Jennings Branch & Polecat Draft, Page 1:

"The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires that all of our streams, rivers, and lakes meet the state water quality standards. 
The CWA also requires that states conduct monitoring to identify polluted waters that do not meet standards.  Through this program, the state of Virginia has found that many streams do not meet state water quality standards for protection of the five beneficial uses: recreation, the production of edible and marketable natural resources, aquatic life, wildlife, and drinking. When streams fail to meet standards, they are placed on the state’s impaired waters list, and the state must then develop a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for each pollutant.  A TMDL is a “pollution budget” for a stream.   That is, it sets limits on the amount of pollution that a stream can tolerate and still maintain water quality standards.  In order to develop a TMDL, background concentrations, point source loadings, and non-point source loadings are considered.  Non-point source pollution occurs when pollutants are transported across the land to a body of water when it rains.  Point source pollution occurs when pollutants are directly discharged into a stream.  Through the TMDL process, states establish water-quality based controls to reduce pollution and meet water quality standards."

To download a copy of the DEQ Publication, please click here.  The document is lengthy, but it spells out a plan to reduce the two pollutants, bacteria and sediment, that have created the impairment of the waterbodies listed above.

P.O. Box 131, Verona, Virginia 24482, United States
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