Press Coverage on
Save Money, Save Streams: Stop Erosion NOW!
By Beverly Hunter
Homeowners, excavators, educators and students, local government officials,
regional experts on soil and water, and the general public will discuss
and learn ways to prevent soil erosion on Saturday, November 22 from 10
a.m.until noon at the Washington Fire Hall. . This public forum, titled
"Save Money, Save Streams: Stop Erosion NOW!" is the third in
a series of free educational events sponsored by RappFLOW - Rappahannock
Friends and Lovers of Our Watershed.
Erosion caused by recent heavy rains troubles many Rappahannock residents.
A recent survey conducted informally by RappFLOW garnered comments such
"Tons and tons of gravel have washed into the creek
and we pay
for the gravel ourselves!"
"Road is very steep, and there is tremendous wash off in the road
and gravel into the creek."
"We lost lots of gravel and have the biggest ruts ever in 20 years."
"Our pond next to the road overflowed and washed out the driveway."
"The rain from the barn roof and from the surrounding lawn and our
new terrace, collects and races downhill along the path of least resistance,
which is the driveway."
"I got out mattock, shovel, and wheelbarrow and started digging,
moving the dirt back up the driveway, cleaning out the ditches, and filling
the ruts. Haven't finished yet, and I don't know when I'll get back to
it. I've been doing this for a lot of years, and it is getting tiresome.
Better ideas would be most welcome."
How can citizens protect not only their driveways, backs and pocketbooks,
but also our water resources from damaging erosion? How effective are
our Soil Disturbance ordinances in preventing erosion? These are concerns
expressed by. homeowners, contractors, excavators and environmentalists.
The November 22 public forum will address such questions, and help individuals
learn more about methods to prevent and correct erosion on their property.
The Event will include a featured presentation, panel discussion, exhibits
and educational handouts on the topic. In addition, local excavators are
invited to come and share their know-how with the community.
The featured speaker will be Mike Lee, Erosion and Sediment Control Specialist
for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. He will address
the impact of erosion on water quality and fish populations, the usefulness
of our soil disturbance ordinances,. how to construct a driveway for longevity
and controlling stormwater on site before it can cause erosion.
Panelists will include Richie Burke, Building Inspector for Rappahannock
County; Perry Cabot, Vice-President, Culpeper Concerned Citizens; Roger
Mello, Principal of the Rappahannock High School; and Greg Wichelns, Culpeper
Soil & Water Conservation District.
Seventh grade students with their teacher Jill Keihn from Hearthstone
School will exhibit their study of the South Fork of the Thornton River
Watershed. Paul Komar, Vice President of the Rappahannock League for Environmental
Protection (RLEP) will provide an exhibit on the soil disturbance ordinances,
along with his collection of dramatic erosion pictures.
Co-sponsors and exhibitors for this Event include Concerned Culpeper
Citizens, Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District, Hearthstone School,
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Madison County Task Force for Sustainable
Growth, Piedmont Environmental Council, Piedmont Research Institute, the
Rappahannock County government, Rappahannock League for Environmental
Protection, and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
All are welcome to participate. Participation is free, and light refreshments
will be served.
About the Experts
Mike Lee has 10 years construction experience, a B.S. in Environmental
Science from WVU and 10 years experience in the erosion and sediment control
arena. At the Division of Soil and Water Conservation, Mike's three main
duties are: periodic reviews of localities' erosion and sediment control
programs, inspection of projects for compliance with the erosion and sediment
laws and regulations and teaching the State environmental certification
Greg Wichelns is the District Manager of the Culpeper Soil and Water
Conservation District (5 counties). He has a BS in Ecological Agriculture
from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MS in Horticulture
from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. Previously, he
was the Greenhouse Facilities Manager and staff horticulturist for the
Institute of Biological Chemistry at Washington State University. Greg
reviews erosion and sediment control site plans for member counties, provides
technical sssistance to local governments, plans and assists with educational