The Middle Peninsula region includes many local waterways including the Rappahannock, Mattaponi, Pamunkey, York and Piankatank Rivers. And that doesn't even count the numerous tributaries located around nearly every turn.
In addition, there are many state, county, and city parks; many historic sites; and miles of land trails leading to water trails along those waterways.
We need to protect our local water quality.
We need clean waterways for…
- Outdoor fun: kayaking, fishing, and splashing around
- Public health: drinking water, seafood, and mental health
- Habitats: native plants, birds, and animals
Growth and development tend to increase stormwater runoff that can wash fertilizers, pesticides, oil and gas leaking from cars, soap from car washes, pet waste, and other materials to pollute our waterways.
These pollutants can make the water unsafe for recreation, consumption, and inhabitants.
How can you help protect our local water quality?
- Adding rain barrels to your downspouts
- Installing a vegetated roof
- Creating a bioswale – a vegetated ditch – where your rainwater flows
- Installing permeable pavement that lets rain soak into the ground below
- Adding native plants and trees, especially near creeks and streams
- Picking up pet waste
- Properly maintaining your septic system
Every little bit helps! Educate yourself, your friends, and your family about the importance of keeping pollution out of our water (and the best ways to do it). This interactive website provides lots of information on actions you can take to protect our local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
Here are some great short videos on the topic:
- Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In highlights green techniques such as rain gardens, green roofs and rain barrels to help manage stormwater runoff.
- After the Storm highlights three case studies where polluted runoff threatens watersheds highly valued for recreation, commercial fisheries and navigation, and drinking water. It also explains simple things people can do to protect their local watershed.
You can also learn more from these partners:
- Caroline County (Guide to Waterfront Living)
- Environmental Protection Agency (green infrastructure)
- Environmental Protection Agency (lawn maintenance)
- Friends of the Rappahannock
- Virginia Native Plants Society
- Plant Virginia Natives
- Virginia Cooperative Extension
- Chesapeake Bay Program
- Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Plus, there are opportunities to get financial support from these and other partners: