Chesapeake Bay

Virginia’s Watershed Implementation Plan

Stormwater runoff carries the pollutants directly to local waterways that feed the Chesapeake Bay. When pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorous get into streams and rivers, they act as nutrients causing harmful algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. The algae grow, blocking sunlight that bottom-dwelling plants need, and then the algae die, causing the fungi and bacteria which feed on the decomposing plant matter to produce toxins and use up the water’s dissolved oxygen, killing fish and marine life. Virginia developed a Watershed Implementation Plan in phases (2010, 2012, and 2019) to incorporate strategies to reduce nutrient pollution in our waterways.


Community Participation

GWRC includes many waterways; more than 40 state, county, and city parks; many battlefields and historic sites; and miles of sidewalks, shared use paths, and bike trails along those waterways. We need clean waterways for outdoor fun (kayaking, fishing, and swimming), public health (drinking water, seafood, and mental health), and natural habitats for native plants, birds, and animals. You help protect our local water quality. Every little bit helps! Learn the importance of keeping pollution out of our water and the best ways to do it.