Accotink Creek Watershed Planning

BEAVERS
BEFORE
BULLDOZERS!

"Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their watershed."

Goals of Watershed Planning

The overall goal of watershed planning is to serve as a tool to identify and address causes of degradation and to ensure future protection for Fairfax County water resources. There are many new technologies and creative planning tools that can be applied to protect, mitigate, and restore watersheds. Some may be "too creative" and amount to meddling, causing unintended negative consequences. Particularly to be avoided is diverting energy to budget-building, feel-good busywork.

Accotink Creek Watershed Plan

Formal planning for Accotink Creek was completed in 2010. This does not mean that nothing remains for us to do. The implementation of the projects can still be guided toward favoring beavers before bulldozers and toward pushing the solutions away from the stream, out into the streets, parking lots, and storm drains where the problems originate. Decisions made now will shape the future over the 25-year life of the Accotink Creek Watershed Management Plan. Information on ongoing or completed Accotink Creek Watershed Plan projects here,

Accotink Creek Watershed Plan full text

Our Planning Aims

  • Create a public ethic of understanding and caring about watershed issues.
  • Achieve a net resource gain from each project undertaken, private or public.
  • Not just generate county spending, but rather measure real results.
  • Create stormwater management controls in areas where none now exist.
  • End waivers for stormwater detention and water quality controls.
  • Expand riparian buffers for improved sediment, nutrient, and run-off control.
  • Fully comply with the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement.

Watershed Planning Volunteers

Friends of Accotink Creek welcomes volunteers with governmental insight and regulatory navigation skills committed to protecting the watershed from both builders seeking dollars and budget planners trying to spend dollars. Contact us, to make a difference.

Build Upon Completed Plan Recommendations

Already-completed plans for other Fairfax County watersheds include a number of policy recommendations the Accotink Creek plan should build upon:
  • Reduce existing peak runoff from redevelopment
  • Reconsider CBPA(Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area) building waivers
  • Promote use of natural shorelines
  • Adopt comprehensive LID(Low Impact Development) calculation methodology
  • Reconsider recommended BMP(Best Management Practices) list
  • Water quality controls on residential lots over 18% imperviousness
  • County facilities natural landscaping and green buildings
  • Require mitigation for all wetland impacts
  • Reduce existing peak runoff from roads
  • Require buffer vegetation restoration for development
  • Provide zoning incentives to reduce imperviousness
  • Allow BMP(Best Management Practices) on individual residential lots
  • Lawn company participation in Virginia Water Quality Improvement Program

Planning History

In the late 1970s, the county developed master drainage plans for all of the watersheds in the county, including Accotink Creek. This plan identified projects to solve environmental problems projected through the year 2000. In January 2001, the county started a stream restoration and protection study and completed the Fairfax County Stream Protection Strategy. This baseline study evaluated the condition of county streams and prioritized the watersheds for protection strategies. See the Accotink Creek Watershed Summary web page.

Building on the recommendations from the Stream Protection Strategy, the county initiated a process to develop watershed management plans for all 30 watersheds in the county over a period of five to seven years.

The stream protection strategy program is ongoing with further biological monitoring and assessment of stream condition. The Fairfax County Health Department monitors stream water quality at 84 sampling sites throughout the county. Fairfax County Stream Water Quality Reports can be found at:
Recent Reports (2008 - present)
Recent Reports (2005 - 2007)
Recent Reports (1997 - 2002)

More Information:

Accotink Creek Watershed Plan

Fairfax County Watershed Plans

Slideshow - Water Quality Monitoring Programs in Fairfax County

Fairfax County Stream Restoration Video