New online toolbox provides restoration solutions for the Chesapeake Bay watershed in the Panhandle
June 16, 2011
MARTINSBURG - The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, a region significant within the state for its impact on the Chesapeake Bay, now has a new resource to utilize when addressing water quality and development issues.
The Panhandle Low Impact Development Toolbox atwww.region9wv.com/bay provides useful information and integrated solutions for local governments, residential developers and homeowners of the Eastern Panhandle.
"The brand new Eastern Panhandle Low Impact Development Toolbox will help citizens clearly understand the important issues concerning the Chesapeake Bay and provide an enormous amount of helpful resources to deal with these pressing issues," Carol Goolsby, executive director of the Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning & Development Council-Region 9, said about the website.
Created by The Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute in collaboration with the Virginia Water Resources Institute, the website addresses innovative strategies for local governments and citizens as they work together under recent government mandates to maintain and strengthen local waters and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.
Funding for this project was provided by the Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Targeted Watershed grant for Run "Meeting Regional Goals through Local Benefits" and the Department of Environmental Protection's Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, with technical assistance provided by Region 9.
"Packed with loads of useful tools targeting local governments, developers and homeowners to be better caretakers of our environment, the careful research, time and dedication of The Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute and the West Virginia Water Resources Institute is obvious in the detail and scope of this site and its many resources and links. Region 9 commends this impressive effort," Goolsby said.
The information found on this new website links to Smart Growth resources, model stormwater ordinances, septic system management, karst management, technical and financial resources and databases for local governments.
Area developers can find out how to lower infrastructure costs, while still protecting the environment. Homeowners can get an understanding of how to make responsible choices in their daily lives and day-to-day activities that ultimately affect the Chesapeake Bay watershed's ability to provide clean water, support aquatic life and protect public health.
"We are proud to provide this suite of options for local communities facing the need to develop locally beneficial strategies for Chesapeake Bay compliance," said Michael Schwartz, senior environmental associate of The Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute. "There is something for everyone for improving how the developed landscape affects water quality."