Respect the Shenandoah: Initiative aims to promote sustainable growth in region

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Photo Credit: fotosipsak/iStock Photo

Shenandoah Riverkeeper Mark Frondorf announced Monday the launch of the Respect the Shenandoah campaign, a broad reaching program to involve stakeholders in the Shenandoah Valley to achieve improvement in the river’s health while creating sustainable growth for the region.

“The Shenandoah River and its Valley have long been regarded as among the most beautiful and majestic natural features of America,” Frondorf said. “But for many reasons, the river has suffered over the last few decades. Fish kills and algal outbreaks, associated with manure from unfenced herds of cattle and large poultry operations, make the river unhealthy and unpleasant for those hoping to enjoy it.  We want to return the Shenandoah River to the condition of health and beauty that many of us remember from days gone by when there were healthy fish populations and clear, clean water for paddling and swimming. This is not just a dream. There are solutions that can be put in place by people of good will throughout the Valley that will enable the Valley to prosper economically as well as environmentally.”

One of the major goals of the campaign calls for reducing harmful algal outbreaks so they no longer interfere with river use and enjoyment. Part of that effort will involve continuing to get cattle out of the river, addressing excess application of poultry litter, a result of the dramatic increase in poultry production farming, and helping farmers to create or strengthen their nutrient management programs to keep manure on the crops and out of the river.

Frondorf continued, “The Shenandoah has been under stress for so long that many new to the river no longer remember what a healthy river looks like. Through this public awareness and information campaign, we will work to change that. Once my fellow Valley residents and visitors understand what was, and is therefore possible again, we hope to mobilize everyone who comes in contact with or relies on the Shenandoah to return it to its former glory.”

About Potomac Riverkeeper Network

Potomac Riverkeeper Network is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization with three regional Waterkeeper branches: Potomac Riverkeeper, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, and Shenandoah Riverkeeper. Our mission is to protect the public’s right to clean water in our rivers and streams. We stop pollution to promote safe drinking water, protect healthy habitats, and enhance public use and enjoyment.

For more information, visit our website.


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