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Stream Health Initiative - Rural Area Focus

Stream Health Initiative - Rural Area Focus

The goal of the Stream Health Initiative is to develop strategies for improving stream health in Albemarle County using a collaborative and inclusive process. 

Reference Library

  • Albemarle County Website Find detailed information about stream health including the current conditions of our waters, water protection policies, the benefits of healthy streams, and opportunities for landowners.


Stream Health Stage 1: DISCOVER

Let's Discover Stream Health Together In this first stage, we’d like to learn more about you, including your background and expertise, and the degree to which you’d like...

Why Focus on Stream Health?

Healthy streams & riparian corridors provide many benefits to our county including protecting our supply of clean drinking water, flood protection, wildlife habitat, recreational activities, and supporting agriculture & other industries.

Water quality monitoring by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) tells us that 56% of the miles of rivers and streams that the agency has tested in Albemarle County are currently impaired. These data, combined with land cover and stream buffer data, show opportunities for improvement.

The Stream Health Initiative seeks to improve the county’s waterways to maximize benefits to the community and the natural environment.

Our Public Engagement Goals

  • Inform participants about the project, the process, and provide background information to prepare everyone to participate fully.
  • Create space to share and understand different perspectives, knowledge, and experiences.
  • Reduce barriers to participation.
  • Learn who we are, and who we are not, reaching and adjust approach to respond accordingly.
  • Create an inviting, enjoyable experience and get lots of folks to participate in the process.

Upcoming Events

Community Kickoff
Join us as we introduce Phase 2 of the Stream Health Initiative. Participants will hear a brief introduction to the topic of stream health, including the current conditions of our waters, and learn about the timeline and ways to participate. We look forward to seeing you! 

Stage 1: DISCOVER (Jan-March 2021)

Stage 1 is focused on building a shared understanding of the current condition of our waters and identifying challenges related to improving stream health in the Rural Areas. We will provide you with opportunities to share your expertise, knowledge, and experience. Input provided will be used to guide the focus of discussions and design recommendations for subsequent stages of the project.

Participate: Discover Questionnaire

Stage 2: DEFINE (Apr-June 2021)

Stage 2 will involve identifying the challenges we face and opportunities to work together to achieve mutual goals. We will explore different concepts and innovative solutions for improving stream health in the Rural Areas and discuss options we might pursue in Albemarle County.

During this stage, County staff will collaborate primarily with the Stakeholder Work Group but will continue to receive input from the public and adjust our approach as needed. 

Stage 3: DEVELOP (July-Sept 2021)

The focus of Stage 3 is development and review of specific proposals to improve stream health in the Rural Areas. Opportunities for collaboration between County Staff and the Stakeholder Work Group will continue, with a focus on evaluation and finalization of the proposals.

In this stage, we will involve the BOS and Planning Commission to provide input and help work through the details and feasibility of each proposal.  In an open and transparent process, we will maintain a continuous feedback loop of providing information and receiving input from the public. 

Stage 4: DECIDE (Oct-Dec 2021)

Stage 4 of the project is when final decisions will be made about how the County will move forward with improving stream health in the Rural Areas.  The final proposals will be presented to the BOS and public hearings will allow for any final input from the public to be heard. Implementation of the selected strategies and solutions will extend beyond this timeframe.