Community Growth Planning

Strategy Point Paper on Ecology/Environment  - F

 Objective – To maintain natural ecological systems utilizing practices and regulations to protect air, soil and water resources. To use best management practices aimed at improving water quality in Chesapeake tributaries located within the boundaries of Stafford County. 

Strategy - Create an Environmental Council to include representatives of the Storm Water Management, the Planning, the Erosion and Sediment Control and the Solid Waste Management offices with a representative from Tri-County/City Soil and Conservation District. The purpose of the council is to focus, coordinate and sustain support of various environmental efforts. Key efforts would include: 

Ø      Act as a catalyst for communication among various stakeholder groups (their own offices as well as the office of Utilities, the office of Economic Development, the office of tourism, and the Board of Supervisors) in order to bring focus to overall activities leading to compliance with environmental laws 

Ø      Implement a comprehensive “education campaign” in order to effectively communicate environmental protection practices to developers, commercial and private landholders 

Ø      Circulate informative information with utility, tax and other general mailings 

Ø      Develop a marketing campaign in order to generate awareness about key environmental issues. The campaign should be focused on encouraging every Stafford citizen to do their part to protect the environment 

Key Messages  

Ø      Key stakeholder groups must work together in order to make knowledgeable, informed choices on development that will impact the environment 

Ø      Improper fertilization of turf areas can add to runoff of nutrients causing further damage to the Chesapeake Bay waters 

Ø      All land in Stafford County is in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and that improper disposal of petroleum and other chemical products can cause harmful effects 

Background: 

Stafford County is located in two of the three physiographic regions of VA and is entirely within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  More than 10 miles of its eastern boundary consist of the Potomac River and its tributaries. Wetlands and tidal marshes account for much of the boundary. Aside from serving as an important habitat for both marine and terrestrial creatures, these areas provide scenic vistas for enjoyment by citizens and tourists. The Chesapeake Bay Act provides that specific measures be taken to protect the Potomac and its tributaries. Surface water runoff and erosion resulting from soil disturbance must be controlled. The county is presently involved in erosion and sediment control practices as well as in storm water management.

March 2003/PRComGrowth-F