Trump Golf Club Cuts Shoreline to Stumps
In summer 2010, more than 450 trees were removed along 1.5 miles of the Potomac River shoreline at Trump National Golf Club in Loudoun County, Va. Potomac Conservancy has submitted a letter to Trump National Golf Course’s General Manager recommending immediate replanting of trees closest to the river to replace those that were recently cut down to create a buffer for pesticides, fertilizers and stormwater runoff that can easily drain into the Potomac River.
In late February, Potomac Conservancy and Trump National Golf Club staff and consultants met to find a solution. Scientific evidence supports the use of streamside trees to increase shoreline stability. However, Trump's Manager Ed Russo has vowed to plant merely grasses. The Conservancy recommends a revegetation plan that includes trees, spaced far enough apart to allow planting of grasses and other herbaceous vegetation. This planting scheme would also allow for more river views through the trees.
Click here to learn more about the destruction of riverside forest and how to demand that Trump National replace the trees.
Even with a tight budget, Potomac Conservancy immediately swung into action. We contacted other groups, reached out to county officials and alerted our membership. But to see this through to a successful outcome, we need your support. Please donate today!
Loudoun County has proposed a stream preservation ordinance that will require trees and other vegetation to be left alone along streamsides. These stream protections have successfully been implemented in neighboring Fairfax County, and in 83 other tidal Virginia localities.
Potomac Conservancy has urged the Loudoun Board of Supervisors to resolve the remaining hurdles and pass the ordinance without delay, while collaborating with a coalition of conservation groups to rally community and leadership support.
Loudoun County residents have the power to carry this proposal across the finish line. Learn more about this issue and how you can take action today!
Immediate action is needed in behalf of the Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) program. It was recently proposed to zero out funding for the RC&D program effective March 4.
Write the Chairman and Ranking Members of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee TODAY and ask them to oppose eliminating the funding for the balance of this Fiscal Year and the President’s budget proposal to eliminate funding for the RC&D Program in 2012.
The RC&D program helps people protect and develop their natural, economic and social resources to improve their area's economy, environment and quality of life. Potomac Conservancy is an associate sponsor of the Shenandoah RC&D Council, which is based in Verona, Virginia and serves seven counties in the Shenandoah Valley.
Ask your Congressmen to insert the following language into the FY 2011 & 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bills:
“Resource Conservation and Development Councils play an important role in rural development and natural resource conservation. There are currently 375 existing Councils and 38 pending applications. The Committee provides $50.73 million to maintain the current operations of existing RC&D Councils.”
Fax your letters to:
Honorable Bob Goodlatte
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Honorable Frank Wolf
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Honorable Jim Webb
U. S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Honorable Mark Warner
Washington, DC 20510
Help Maryland's Local Government Establish Stormwater Utiliies
The 2011 General Assembly Session has begun in Maryland, and among the environmental community's top priorities is creating a state requirement that local governments develop a revenue source to repair the billions of dollars in damage that have occurred to our streams, creeks, and rivers as a result of uncontrolled stormwater runoff. This has been one of Potomac Conservancy's priorities for the past several years.
On Tuesday, January 25, representatives from the environmental community will discuss these priorities with advocates and legislators at the 17th Annual Environmental Legislative Summit in Annapolis. Join the many others who care about our rivers and the Bay. Please also contact Speaker of the House, Michael Busch at 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3800, or email@example.com. Tell him that addressing our stormwater backlog now, in 2011, is a priority for you, and that we can’t afford to wait another year to study the problem, and leave another $100 million uncollected for stormwater restoration projects.
For more information, click here.
Support Virginia's Proposal to Strengthen Stormwater Regulations
Water quality in Virginia’s streams and rivers, and in the Chesapeake Bay, has suffered for too long; while improvements have been meager and slow. Virginia’s Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) is taking the lead to improve their outdated, lax post-construction stormwater rules by proposing amended regulations (4VAC50-60) that require developers to control more rain runoff (to prevent flooding and stream bank erosion) and to reduce the amount of pollutants that leave their sites once construction is done. The revisions will help Virginia meet its commitment to clean up its rivers, and the Bay.
Five public hearings were held around the state to receive public comment. If you missed the meetings, you still have the opportunity to show your support for the rules by submitting comments online at the state Townhall website. See below for more on how you can assist.
What the Rules Propose to Do
- The revised regulations reduce the allowable peak runoff volume and pollutant runoff (specifically phosphorous) from future development (old sites are grandfathered in).
- The new phosphorous standard is 0.28lbs/acre/year; a 38% decrease compared to the existing standard of 0.45lbs/acre/year.
- There are no new standards for nitrogen or sediment, under the assumption that reducing phosphorous will lead to reductions in those pollutants as well.
- Low Impact Development techniques are promoted over previous practices which have led to the current problems.
- Localities are encouraged to create and manage the program (permits, inspection and enforcement) under state oversight. If they choose not to, the state will administer the program.
Concerns with the Proposed Rule
- Clearly, requiring more runoff control raises financial concern for developers. The development community has expressed opposition to the rules, despite being involved in the drafting of the current version and receiving concessions along the way.
- The rules provide for pollution offsets to be purchased when reducing pollution from a particular site becomes cost prohibitive. This flexibility lessens the potential financial burden of the proposed rules.
- There is concern that the proposed rules are too strict on redevelopment, which may have the unintended consequence of encouraging sprawl (and therefore cause more farms and forest to be converted to impervious surface). Overall water quality in the watershed is improved by minimizing sprawl and encouraging redevelopment. DCR is open to correcting this shortcoming.
- Localities are concerned about the prospect for new responsibility, and are unsure if permit fee funding will be sufficient.
Send a Key Message to DCR
Please support DCR's efforts to improve water quality and write in to the state Townhall website to support of the rules. Here are some points to mention:
- Current regulations are not getting the job done.
- Agriculture and point sources are already making progress; it is time for development to do its fair share.
- Requiring farmers to reduce pollution on behalf of development makes no sense. Without pollution control in urban areas, those streams will continue to flood and die.
- Virginia should approve the amended rules in their current form, or with only minor adjustments.
For more information:
- Learn about stormwater issues here.
- You can read the proposed rules here.
- For more information on the campaign to pass these rules, contact Patrick Felling, Virginia Policy Coordinator, Potomac Conservancy at Felling@potomac.org.
SUCCESS STORY: Green Streets Sprout in Montgomery Cty, MD
Montgomery County recently released draft regulations that would be the first in the country to mandate use of “green streets” techniques to reduce roadway runoff. The green streets approach uses specially-designed planting areas to capture and treat polluted rainwater that runs off our roadways. Green streets techniques have long been used on a demonstration basis, but Montgomery would be the first to require that they be used in all roadway projects. Link to to see a pdf of the draft Green Streets regulations, which are included as part of a larger roadway package on pages 47-52. For more information: See Potomac Conservancy’s press release or continue reading below.
What are Green Streets?
Roadways are one of the largest sources of polluted runoff in Montgomery County, as they are in almost all developed areas. When rainwater hits streets, it runs off into rivers and streams, carrying a payload of sediment, pollution, oils, and trash. “Green streets” techniques prevent this pollution problem by capturing and slowing the flow of stormwater off the roads, and infiltrating it down into the ground or filter it to slow and clean its discharge. Familiar-looking but specially-designed landscaping features including grassy medians, street trees, and sidewalk planters do double duty, helping collect and filter polluted stormwater as they beautify our neighborhoods.
Reducing polluted runoff from our roads using green streets techniques is a critical step towards addressing the larger stormwater problem in the Potomac Watershed. For more information on stormwater problems and solutions, click here.
Green Streets Programs Across the Nation:
- Portland, Oregon: www.portlandonline.com/BES/index.cfm?c=44407
- New York, New York: www.streetsblog.org/2008/02/14/greenstreets-of-new-york-new-and-improved/ and www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/trees_greenstreets.html
- Seattle, Washington: www.seattle.gov/UTIL/About_SPU/Drainage_&_Sewer_System/Natural_Drainage_Systems/Street_Edge_Alternatives/index.asp
- Federal Green Highways Partnership: www.greenhighways.org/.
Community Celebrates Completion of )
On October 25, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett joined Action in Montgomery, a faith-based organization, and community members to celebrate the completion of the 3,300-foot
Since the sidewalk is adjacent to a designated Special Protection Area, a more creative, environmentally sensitive design was used. DOT installed a sidewalk made of porous concrete, an innovation that allows water to seep through the walkway and be absorbed into the ground. Conventional concrete is impervious, so water simply runs off. The runoff can stress the environment by dumping pollutants and high volumes of water into nearby creeks and streams. If the porous material proves durable and effective, it may be used in other parts of the county where better management of stormwater runoff is needed.
The sidewalk was completed on October 10 and cost $306,000. (From Go
Road Code Montgomery County (Md.) Council voted unanimously to adopt guidelines that ensure that streets are designed with all users in mind---pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and drivers. The law also requires that county roads minimize polluted stormwater runoff.
Urban Tree Canopy Frederick
|WV Conservation Funding The West Virginia legislature recently approved its first ever statewide fund for land conservation – the West Virginia Outdoor and Rural Heritage Trust Fund. With a dedicated statewide fund, West Virginia can begin protecting its most important lands, resulting in better quality of life for West Virginians, and better water quality downstream. The Conservancy is a founding member of the Coalition of West Virginia Land Trusts, which studied the options for state-level land conservation funding.||Add Your Story Here...|
The Fairfax County portion of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (PHNST) is largely complete and lives up to its name. With your support, two of the few remaining gaps can soon be filled, in spectacularly scenic fashion. Both opportunities, however, face stiff resistance.
As we noted back in March, Army officials are trying to build the Fort Belvoir section of trail in an unappealing location next to busy U.S. Route 1 at a cost of $6 million, instead of using existing trails and dirt and gravel roads in the secluded Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge.
To fill the trail gap between Great Falls Park and Scotts Run Nature Preserve, the PHNST needs to cross the Madeira School's property. There are at least two possible scenic routes, the ideal route being along the Potomac, turning inland along the eastern boundary to Georgetown Pike. The Countywide Trails Plan obliges the Madeira School to allow trail access along the Potomac at its property, but advocates are encountering resistance.
Take Action: Contact Fairfax County Supervisors Connolly, Foust, and Hyland, and ask them to support scenic trail alignments at Ft. Belvoir and the Madeira School. Click here for a sample letter.
Supervisor Foust firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman Connolly email@example.com
Supervisor Hyland firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: Contact Fairfax Trails & Stream at FairfaxTrails@aol.com.
SUCCESS STORY: Green Streets