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Clean Water & Waterways

Restoring the Chesapeake Bay

Cities and counties in Hampton Roads are hard at work implementing a pollution diet for local waterways. Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting water quality standards. Let's get our waters healthy!

GOOD TO KNOW

Here’s a quick and dirty rundown on the Chesapeake Bay situation and related terminology:

  • The Chesapeake Bay watershed (the area with water draining into the Bay) includes parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and all of Washington DC – about a 64,000 square mile area!
  • A healthy Bay means the water contains a balanced amount of nutrients and normal fluctuations in salinity and temperature. The water needs to have enough dissolved oxygen so fish, crabs and other aquatic life can breathe and few suspended sediments so underwater grasses receive enough sunlight to grow.
  • To improve water quality, the flow of pollution must be reduced. We can do this in two ways: by reducing the amount of stormwater runoff we create and by reducing the amount of pollution in the stormwater we do create.
  • Each locality within the Bay watershed is required to draft a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP), which details how localities will meet the diet by working in partnership with the agricultural community, wastewater treatment plants and developers.
  • A clean, healthy Bay means improved public health, fishing, recreation opportunities, economic opportunities and more!

Making small changes in your everyday activities can help improve the Bay.

GOOD TO DO

  • Stay informed about the latest water quality news.
  • Support programs and organizations working to improve local water quality.
  • Pledge to make your home a “star.” Help protect local waterways by becoming a Bay Star Home or joining one of the many residential watershed protection programs in Hampton Roads. Find one in your neighborhood.
  • Follow best management practices in your home and yard to protect local water quality.
  • Pump out, don’t dump out your boat’s sewage holding tanks. It is illegal to discharge untreated sewage from boats in any Virginia waterway.
  • Contact your local stormwater representative to inquire about flooding, stormwater, storm drains, or to report illegal dumping into the storm drain or street.

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ARE YOU A BAY STAR HOME?

We live in a beautiful region surrounded by water. It impacts everything from the food we eat to the fun we have as well as our economic livelihood. Our daily actions have a lasting impact and it's up to us to protect and restore our waterways. It takes a community of individuals making small changes to make a difference. Bay Star Homes is one way you can get involved in the effort to protect our region's most defining natural resource, water.

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