Volunteers plant a stream buffer. Photo by CBF Staff
Virginia Makes Progress on Bay Milestone Goals
Virginia made substantial progress in meeting its 2010–2011 Bay cleanup milestones, meeting six out of nine milestone practices analyzed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Choose Clean Water coalition.
Areas of greatest progress included wastewater treatment plant nutrient reductions, wetland restoration, grass buffers along farm streams, and septic tank pump-outs. Shortfalls were noted in winter cover crop acreage, forested buffers, and urban and suburban lawn fertilizer management. Also, better data is needed to accurately track and account for progress in reducing urban stormwater runoff.
CBF remains cautiously optimistic, noting that Virginia can make additional progress on missed goals by:
- implementing new laws reducing nitrogen and phosphorus in lawn maintenance fertilizers, beginning in 2014;
- increasing cover crop requirements in the state's resource management plan (farm "safe harbor") regulations;
- increasing farmer incentives for planting forested stream buffers;
- providing better data and greater transparency and accountability to enable the public to gauge progress for all milestone goals.
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