Goose Creek Association Announces Multiyear ‘Creek Watch’

The Goose Creek Association has launched a multiyear effort to get the scenic river back to good health.

The Commonwealth designates Goose Creek a scenic river, with a watershed of more than 385 square miles in Loudoun and Fauquier. It provides drinking water for residents, a beautiful setting for walking and kayaking, and a habitat for wildlife. But as it flows north into the Potomac, the river passes through more and more heavily developed areas, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality designates the river as “impaired” due to its degraded water quality and multiple instances of E. coli contamination.

The Goose Creek Association in August 2021 began a years-long project, “Goose Creek Watch,” to get the river back into sustainable good health and get it off the impaired list. The project brings together conservation organizations from the across the region.

Plans includes a stream monitoring program to test water quality; riparian buffers to filter water sediment and runoff; expanding riparian buffers to reduce erosion, E. coli contamination and development; mitigating fertilizer runoff from farms; advocating against inappropriate development; public education programs; and canoe trips to remove litter from Goose Creek.

The program began with six new monitoring sites, including chemical monitoring by Friends of the Shenandoah River using their lab at Shenandoah University, and offering an overall view of the water quality and a starting point for planning the work.

The Goose Creek Association’s committee for Goose Creek Watch consists of Norman Myers and Jeff Millington from the association’s Board of Directors; Karen Anderson, Friends of the Shenandoah River Laboratory and Program Director; Bill Howard, Executive Director of Downstream Project, board member and immediate past chairman of Chesapeake Commons, and board member of Conservation West Virginia; and Amy Ulland, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Stream Monitoring Program Coordinator and a Certified Trainer and Monitor with Virginia Save Our Streams. Goose Creek Association also plans to work with the Loudoun and Fauquier County soil and water districts, Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition, the Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Goose Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee.

The project is funded by the Goose Creek Association using donations and grant money.

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