The Loudoun Watershed Watch gave the 2002 State of the Streams report on the health of the county’s streams to the Board oif Supervisors Monday. According to the report, 22 percent of Loudoun’s streams are highly to moderately affected by development and land use activities. Streams are impaired throughout the county’s watersheds; stream habitats are stressed from storm water erosion and the loss of riparian buffers; and aquatic life is stressed from sediment from development, agriculture and storm water. The report also shows that the chemical quality of stream water remains good at the county’s monitoring sites with low levels or nitrogen and phosphorous compounds.
“In some areas we’re not doing too badly,” said James Burton (I-Mercer). “We’re not looking at an absolute disaster.”
The Loudoun Watershed Watch formed in April 2001 as a volunteer stream monitoring cooperative of governmental entities, non-profit organizations and residents who, before the watch formed, independently monitored, protected and restored the county’s streams and watersheds. The Department of Building and Development facilitates the watch, which obtains and organizes water quality data to assist the county mitigate the impacts land development and land use has on stream water quality. The watch conducts countywide stream monitoring, watershed management planning and water quality and stream habitat protection.
In 2003, the watch plans to develop a Comprehensive Stream Monitoring Plan for the county’s streams.
— Shelley Widhalm