Forum to Tackle Water Quality Issues in Northern Virginia

Posted: July 19, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: July 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Two Mason experts, Dann Sklarew, associate director of Mason’s Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center, and Lenna Storm, Mason sustainability manager and director of Mason’s Sustainability Institute, will be among the participants at an upcoming forum hosted by Mason to discuss water quality issues in Northern Virginia.

The forum, which is called Urban Water Quality: Community-Based Solutions, will be held on Thursday, July 21, from 9 a.m. to noon in Mason Hall’s Meese Conference Room.

According to organizers, the Chesapeake Bay watershed, America’s largest estuary, is on a strict “pollution diet” intended to accelerate the pace of its restoration. The diet requires farms, cities and suburbs, wastewater plants, motor vehicles and smokestacks to reduce discharges of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment.

The forum aims to tackle issues from urban stormwater runoff and green infrastructure, to homeowner and community behaviors that will help preserve precious water resources.

The discussion is sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Network, a network of more than 100 organizations committed to protecting Virginia’s natural resources, and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. The two entities are joining forces to drive the conversation on how individual citizens and urban communities can become part of the solution.

Those invited to participate in the discussion include homeowners, urban planners, watershed managers, water-quality specialists, community leaders and advocacy groups.

Topics for discussion include:

  • Urban landscapes and runoff management
  • Innovative local government and public-private programs
  • Homeowner education and engagement to prevent runoff
  • Connecting lawn and garden care practices to protect water quality

Scheduled speakers are:

  • Randy Bartlett, director of wastewater and stormwater, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Service
  • Mike Goately, turfgrass science extension specialist, Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension
  • Nathan Lott, executive director, Virginia Conservation Network
  • Asad Rouhi, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Chris Wible, director of environmental stewardship, TheScotts Miracle-Gro Company

For more information, see the website.

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