The following first appeared in, The Free Lance Star.
It's wonderful that state and federal restoration work is resulting in a cleaner Chesapeake Bay and Rappahannock River [Bay Barometer report finds improvement]. Unfortunately, one vexing contributor to polluted runoff remains a challenge. Virginia localities need to address stormwater runoff from urban and suburban areas.
Virginia's legislators can help reduce pollutants from this source by supporting the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund, a 50-50 match program that helps cities and counties pay for practices that reduce polluted runoff from heavy rains.
These projects—from restored streams to reconstructed wetlands—create beauty in communities while filtering and absorbing runoff before it pollutes nearby streams.
So far the program has supported more than 175 projects across Virginia. That includes several in Stafford and Prince William counties as well as projects farther downstream in Warsaw and Kilmarnock.
During this year's General Assembly, Sen. Richard Stuart can play a key role as a member of the Senate Finance Committee. He and our other legislators can keep up the momentum toward a restored Bay by 2025 by investing in the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.