Waynesboro receives $163K grant toward South River restoration

waynesboro2editsThe City of Waynesboro kicks off its “Restoring Waynesboro’s Riverfront Parks” initiative this week with stream bank restoration work at Wayne Avenue Park. The project is funded by a $163,875 grant from American Rivers and the Environmental Protection Agency and is part of a comprehensive initiative to restore habitat and improve the health of the South River.

“The City of Waynesboro is excited about moving forward with this project to improve the valuable community asset that is the South River,” said Trafford McRae, project manager with the Waynesboro Public Works Department. “These restoration projects highlight the city’s commitment to improving water quality, and the city’s acknowledgement of the critical role a healthy South River will play in a vibrant, sustainable community.”

The South River has suffered degradation common in urban areas that results in phosphorus, sediment, and bacteria pollution, which has led to the river being listed on the state’s impaired waters list. The City has been working with a diverse group of community-based partners—including Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, South River Science Team, University of Virginia, Center for Watershed Protection, A. Morton Thomas Engineers, DuPont Corporation and Trout Unlimited—to develop a strategy that will restore riverside habitat, stabilize streambanks, and better manage polluted runoff using a variety of green infrastructure techniques to improve water quality at two public parks along the South River. These projects will address the impairments in the South River by reducing pollutants and go towards meeting the City’s obligations to improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

“American Rivers is thrilled to be able to support this project that will have a tremendous impact on the health of the region’s rivers and clean water” said Serena McClain, Director of River Restoration at American Rivers. “We congratulate the City of Waynesboro on developing a project that will improve habitat for eastern brook trout, enhance recreation opportunities, and complement other efforts to better connect Waynesboro to the South River.”

American Rivers is implementing the EPA’s Potomac Highlands grant program that rewards local, innovative solutions to benefit clean water and local economies. A total of $1,673,119 is being awarded to eight projects to protect rivers and clean water in the Potomac Highlands region of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The Highlands region is the headwaters of the Potomac River, which flows through the nation’s capital. The region’s forests and streams provide rich habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants, as well as increasingly popular recreation and tourism destinations. Many of the region’s streams have been damaged by harmful logging, mining, dams, and other development, but opportunities abound for river restoration and revitalization. Learn more at www.AmericanRivers.org/PotomacHighlands.

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