On Wednesday, May 17, an informative roundtable discussion was held at Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton Virginia, at the Sierra Club York River Group meeting. Several panelists attended from:
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
City of Hampton Public Works Department
Stormwater Programs, York County
City of Poquoson
City of Newport News
The panelists described the TMDL (Total Max Daily Load), as well as other technical acronyms related to water pollution and the health of our local waterways. Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Sediment are among the biggest “problem pollutants” of the Bay, and these pollutants can find their way to the Bay from fertilizer applied to your yard, via runoff, drainage ditches, and rivers. We learned how our localities are working to mitigate their levels. We learned about “rain gardens,” which are special planted areas that help absorb runoff, cutting down on the amount of pollution that gets into waterways. The goals of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation were also described in detail.
What can we do as average citizens? First and foremost: be educated about the issues. For example, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation website (www.cbf.org). Attend future programs put on by the Sierra Club York River group. Learn the facts. Then: communicate with your local legislators and representatives to voice your support of initiatives that cut down on water pollution.