Steps to Success
The Virginia General Assembly is preparing
to convene on January 13. To safeguard
and advance progress toward meeting
the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint,
CBF has targeted four programs for the
1. Funding for Farmers
Farm practices such as fencing cattle out of
streams are the most cost-efficient actions
to restore the Bay and local streams.
However, many farmers who have signed
up for a Virginia program to pay for
streamside fencing are awaiting funds as
the Commonwealth works through an estimated $65-million backlog. This session,
we’ll urge Virginia officials to ensure that
all farmers who have registered for this
program get the assistance they need. To
meet clean-water goals, the total needed
for all Virginia farm best management practices is $92 million in fiscal year 2017 and
$86 million in fiscal year 2018.
2. Reducing Polluted Runoff
Addressing pollution in urban and suburban areas poses a different challenge.
A plan is in place to
restore Virginia’s waterways.
Its success is up to the
legislators and governor.
With winter approaching and legislators back in session on January 13,
CBF staff in Richmond are gearing up for the 2016 General Assembly.
Rainfall runs off streets, homes, and parking
lots, washing contaminants into waterways.
According to VirginiaForever, a coalition of
businesses and conservation organizations,
the Commonwealth needs a $50 million
investment annually to achieve the
Blueprint’s goals for reducing polluted
runoff. Given that, CBF encourages the
2016 General Assembly to appropriate $150
million to cover Virginia’s Stormwater Local
Assistance Fund for the next three years.
The fund provides matching grants to help
local governments meet their obligations to
control runoff, including implementation of
stormwater-management techniques and
3. Finishing Upgrades
Wastewater treatment plant upgrades are a
4. Supporting Oyster Restoration
success story for clean water in Virginia.
The installation of nutrient removal tech-
nology is cutting the flow of pollution to
rivers and the Bay, dramatically improving
water quality. However, the modernization
process is not complete. Finishing
upgrades to the next round of plants will
require an additional $58 million in fund-
ing from the Commonwealth.
In recent years, CBF and others have
planted tens of millions of oysters in
Virginia waters, helping this once-deci-mated Chesapeake icon begin a remarkable comeback. These oysters clean and
filter water and provide vital habitat for
other Bay species. To continue boosting the
Bay’s oyster population in 2016, Virginia
needs $1 million for oyster restoration and
$2 million for oyster replenishment efforts.
We have the programs in place to restore
Virginia’s waterways and meet clean-water
milestones. Now it’s up to legislators and
the governor to ensure that these projects
u To learn more about CBF’s work in Virginia,
We’re pleased to welcome new Virginia
Executive Director Rebecca LePrell,
who started on November 30. She
comes to us from the Virginia
Department of Health’s Environmental
Epidemiology Division, where for the
past six years she directed a team
working on issues such as Virginia’s
coastal beach monitoring program,
algal bloom surveillance, and fish consumption advisories. In her new post,
LePrell will lead CBF policy, advocacy,
and restoration efforts across Virginia.