The Conservation Committee has been eager to get to the stream monitoring/water quality program back on track. Since we’ve been unable to locate the chapter’s benthic (bottom dwelling) macroinvertebrate sampling equipment; we have
submitted out equipment list to National in hopes that we can obtain grant money to covert the expenses. Guy Cox has a call scheduled with Samantha Biggs at National to discuss the road ahead and to possibly locate our water testing records and certifications. Since the Governor has eased some of the social distancing restrictions perhaps the required in-person training for macroinvertebrate collection can resume. We received our macroinvertebrate collection permit that was submitted to DGIF on our behalf – unfortunately Stafford County and Fredericksburg were omitted from the permit – possibly because no record can be found of use ever performing macroinvertebrate testing. I requested that the permit be corrected and re-issued.
We have installed recycling containers on the chapter’s property. Anecdotally, it seems to have reduced the monofilament litter around the ponds. Collections haven’t been performed on the bins; we are waiting for the prepaid boxes from Berkley for returning the monofilament line. Globally, Berkey has reprocessed 9 million miles of monofilament line since the inception of the program in 1980. The bins will be dumped in the upcoming weeks.
We have an Eagle Scout candidate who has planned on installing monofilament collection bins at some of the busiest fishing locations in the area. Currently the recycling containers will be installed at four locations in Wide Water State Park in Stafford County. We have received 2 sets postage paid containers for returning the monofilament line to Berkley for recycling; we’ll keep one and the other will go to Wide Water as part of the Eagle Scout project.
Winter Salt Watch
Road salt (sodium chloride) is everywhere during winter months. It keeps us safe on roads and sidewalks, but it can also pose a threat to fish and wildlife as well as human health. You can take action to find out whether road salt pollution is a problem in your local stream. Here is a link for ordering a Salt Watch Kit on the main page of the National website. Get your SaltWatch Kit. Get your Winter Salt Watch Kit
If you received your salt collection kit and have not yet taken the sample; it’s not too late, there still plenty of run-off. Find a stream or one of VDOT’s ad hoc micro water-filled mis-alignment features and take your sample. Be sure to report you finding on the included postcard.
Virginia Legislative Activities
Virginia lawmakers approved legislation earlier this month that would ban the intentional release of all nonbiodegradable balloons and slap offenders with a civil fine of $25 per balloon. To date the Governor hasn’t signed the bill. He may be waiting until someone can identify a voter class he can placate by signing it. So as conservationists, we vote – give the Governor a call.
Virginia House Joint Resolution 527 calls for a study that will explore options for phasing out the propagation and sale of invasive plants in Virginia’s horticultural industry, which may include potential legislative action to be brought the following year to the 2022 General Assembly. It looks like they plan to study it for a year before enacting a law that would prevent sale and propagation of invasive plants. There are several that are not on the list most notably, Mimosa. The bill does nothing
about the mess that VDOT has created along their right-of-way by poor eradication procedures. The Virginia Native Plant Society has the lead.
Save Our Streams
Virginia Save Our Streams (SOS) is a program of the Izaak Walton League of America. Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected conservation organizations. Virginians have the right to know whether our streams are safe for swimming, fishing, playing, and drinking. Virginia Save Our Streams monitors water quality of Virginia’s streams and educates the public about the importance of clean water. We are still looking for the macroinvertebrate equipment.
An option for the macroinvertebrate equipment would be to make our own. The instructions are simple and easy to follow. One of the Committee members has a source for a few more pieces of PVC. Take a look and see if you can help out - Homemade macroinvertebrate equipment
The chapter seeks volunteers to help start a stream-monitoring program for five areas around the property. If interested contact Eric Brown or Guy Cox on how you can help.