Fairfax County Sponsors Forum for Popes Head Creek Watershed


Fairfax County 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

Jan. 2, 2004

 

Fairfax County Sponsors Forum for Popes Head Creek Watershed

On Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2004, from 7 to 9 p.m., Fairfax County will sponsor a free Community Issues Scoping Forum to provide education on watershed issues and to seek citizen input on the issues confronting the Popes Head Creek watershed. The forum will be held at the Clifton Community Hall, 12641 Chapel Road, Clifton.

The county plans to develop watershed management plans for all 30 county watersheds, the areas that drain to particular streams, all of which empty into the Potomac River and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. The Popes Head Creek watershed management plan will provide 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.

Paul Shirey of the county’s Stormwater Management Branch explains, “The issues scoping forum is a key opportunity for the community to participate in the watershed planning process and to help shape the outcome of the plan.”

As part of the development of each management plan, county staff members are working with local communities to identify issues and generate solutions to problems in their watersheds. The Popes Head Creek watershed planning process began in June 2003 and will be completed by winter 2004/2005. The county has hired the team of AMEC Earth & Environmental Inc., Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc. and Limno-Tech Inc. to encourage community involvement, analyze data on existing watershed problems and provide recommendations on how to solve them. The community involvement process included the creation of an advisory committee of community representatives from neighborhoods, businesses, conservation groups and other local interests. In addition to seeking input from the advisory committee, the county has planned four public workshops, including the Jan. 13 issues scoping forum.

Popes Head Creek originates in the southwestern area of the city of Fairfax and flows into Bull Run at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. With its major tributaries, Piney Branch and Castle Creek, it drains a 19-square mile watershed that is primarily made up of large residential lots with commercial and medium density residential areas in the upper reaches. 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 Popes Head Creek. This watershed is exhibiting signs of degradation associated with watershed development and suffers from some problems common to streams in a developing watershed such as loss of natural buffers, flooding, stream bank erosion, polluted runoff and trash.

The issues scoping forum will include a brief primer to educate participants about watershed issues and will solicit the community’s input on issues that should be addressed in the Popes Head Creek watershed plan. Advance registration is not required, but will help coordinators to ensure adequate space. To register, send an e-mail message to lynne.mowery@amec.com or call 703-488-3773, 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 program’s Web page on the county’s Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/Watersheds/. Select the link in the middle of the page “Get Involved in Your Watershed -Click Here,” then click on “Find Your Watershed” at the bottom of the page and then click on “Popes Head Creek Watershed” on the map. 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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