County Seeks Community Input on Little Hunting Creek Watershed Plan


Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

Nov. 17, 2003

 

County Seeks Community Input on Little Hunting Creek Watershed Plan

 

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2003, Fairfax County will sponsor a Draft Plan Review Workshop from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Carl Sandburg Middle School, 8428 Fort Hunt Rd., Alexandria, to seek citizen input on the first draft of the watershed management plan for Little Hunting Creek. There will be an orientation for those new to the plan at 6 p.m. and the full plan will be presented at 6:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., participants will then have the opportunity to tour stations where elements of the plan will be described by project engineers. Participants will review and contribute to ideas for restoring the watershed.

The county will develop similar plans for all 30 of its watersheds, the areas that drain to particular streams, all of which empty into the Potomac River and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. The Little Hunting Creek watershed management plan provides a consistent basis for evaluating problems and implementing solutions. The goal is to protect and restore the stream and related natural resources, such as wildlife habitat. As part of the development of each management plan, county staff are working with local communities to generate solutions to problems identified in their watersheds. Fred Rose of the county’s Stormwater Management Branch explains, “The goal is to have the best possible plan for the community, by the community.”

The Little Hunting Creek watershed planning process began in December 2002 and will be completed by spring 2004.The county has hired the team of Woolpert LLP and the University of Virginia’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation to encourage community involvement, analyze data on existing watershed problems, and provide recommendations on how to solve them. The community involvement process includes a steering committee comprised of 14 community representatives from neighborhoods, businesses, conservation groups and other local interests. In addition to seeking input from the steering committee, the county held a public watershed forum in July and conducted two focus groups to gain insight into how the plan should be developed. The workshop on Dec. 3 will showcase the strategy proposed by the community and local businesses for restoring the watershed of Little Hunting Creek. Community review of this first draft plan is critical to ensuring the plan is realistic and that the strategy will help make progress toward improving the watershed’s condition and the quality of life for residents and businesses.

Little Hunting Creek originates in Huntley Meadows Park and flows into the Potomac River at Mount Vernon. With its major tributaries, North Branch and Paul Spring Branch, it drains an 11.25-square mile watershed that is primarily residential and commercial, including the Route 1 corridor. A recently completed physical assessment of over 800 miles of streams in Fairfax County, combined with ongoing biological monitoring by local volunteers, has provided valuable information on current conditions in Little Hunting Creek. This watershed suffers from problems common to older, developed urban watersheds – paved land cover, loss of natural buffers, flooding, stream bank erosion, polluted runoff and trash.

Children are welcome to attend the workshop. Advance registration is not required but will help coordinators to ensure adequate space. To register, please send an e-mail to Littlehuntingcreek@virginia.edu or call 703-684-4460, TTY 711.

The watershed planning program is administered by the Stormwater Planning Division of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. Information can be found on the project’s Web page by clicking on the Little Hunting Creek Watershed at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/Watersheds/ and click on “Get involved in your watershed” and then on “Little Hunting Creek.”

For additional information, contact Fred A. Rose, P.E., chief, Stormwater Management Branch or Paul Shirey, P.E., program manager, at 703-324-5500, TTY 711.


 

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS

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