The River Keeper

What is your New Years Resolution? 

 Exercising?  Spending more time with family? Exploring Roanoke's great outdoors? Volunteering? Dieting?

At Roanoke Stormwater, we are keeping the City of Roanoke's waterways on a diet, a "pollution diet" that is.
 And you can help us keep them on track! 

(No cheating on this one)

The Roanoke River and 11 of the 13 tributaries are currently impaired for exceeding safe bacterial (E.coli), sediment, temperature and PCB levels. All surface waters that do not meet water quality standards are placed on a 303(d) list impaired water list as mandated under the Clean Water Act. All impaired waters must have a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or "pollution diet"  that establishes the limit of pollutants that a surface water body can receive daily and still meet water quality standards.The primary pollutant for most of the tributaries is bacteria (E. coli) that comes from pet waste, non-functioning septic and sewer systems, agriculture, and natural sources, like wildlife.

The Stormwater Division has created TMDL Action Plans outlining how it will meet the TMDL pollution reduction diet and work toward delisting our impaired streams. But we can't do it alone! Community engagement in this process is vital to successful delisting of our streams. Every person's actions count!

Here are some helpful tips to remember:

Learn more here about stormwater pollution and how you can help!

Explore Creeks to Peaks  

Looking to find your next big adventure in Roanoke?

Did you know Roanoke was voted Best Adventure Town in the Blue Ridge! What adventures will you find in Roanoke? Will you explore the creeks or peaks? The Roanoke Region is home to more than 30 miles of urban multi-use trails and they are still growing. There are more than 600 miles of hiking trails in the valley from the AT to Mill Mountain.  
In Roanoke City there are 13 streams including the renowned Roanoke River. There are many ways you can explore the Roanoke River. You can access the Roanoke River by walking along the Roanoke River Greenway, stretching over eight miles, or dive right in at various water access points throughout the city. Enjoy tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and even paddleboarding. How will you explore Roanoke? 
Don't know where to start? The Roanoke Outside Foundation is a great resource with tools to help you create your own journey by land or water. Create your own adventure today!

Roanoke River Blueway

Adopt-A-Stream Program

A volunteer opportunity awaits..

The Adopt-A-Stream Program is open for businesses, civic groups, churches, neighborhood associations, schools, scouts, families and individuals to work together to become involved with helping Virginia'a environment. It all starts with you! The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Adopt-A-Stream Program aims to reduce litter while advancing citizen stewardship and understanding of the commonwealth's precious waterways.  

Adopting a section of waterway is a great way to give back to your community and connect with your watershed. The program provides you with the resources for conducting cleanups. It is easy to get started. Learn more by reading the Adopt-A-Stream manual. Organize your group and pick a location.
The Adopt-A-Stream Coordinator can work with your group to find a site. Apply and you are all set!

Local organization in the City of Roanoke participates in the Adopt-A-Stream Program. 

Roanoke Mountain Adventures, a full service outdoor outfitter located along the Greenway and Roanoke River in the City of Roanoke, participates in the Adopt-A-Stream Program. They have adopted the section of the Roanoke River being from Wasena Park down to Smith Park. "The river is a major part of our business and city," states James Rivercomb, owner of Roanoke Mountain Adventures, "and we feel it is our responsibility to take an ownership mentality, as well as promote good stewardship of the resource."

"It is an exciting time with regards to the Roanoke River," continues James, "as attitudes and public perception are shifting from polluted, unusable river towards a viewpoint that see's it as a valuable resource that is ours to take care of and protect for now and future enjoyment and benefit. There is lots to be done in regard to cleaning up the river and promoting responsible use and we feel it is our responsibility as a business that relies on the river to be a part of that movement."

Looking for ways to save this year?

Save big by calculating your water footprint!

The average American household uses 70 gallons of water per person per day!
Calculate how much water is embedded into your daily activities, including what you wear, eat and drink. There are multiple ways you can save water, but first is it useful to know where your using the most water. At home, at the grocery store, or at the mall? Find out the best way you can save by calculating your water footprint!

Calculate your water footprint  and save water with these helpful sites:

Conserving water saves you time, energy, and money. One easy way to save water and time is by taking shorter showers.  Try showering for only 5 minutes. You can save up to 12.5 gallons of water per shower! Also saving you time to accomplish other activities. Water is part of our everyday livesIt takes water to create the power we use to drive our cars, transport our groceries, and run our toaster ovens. Virtually every source of electricity in a typical American home or manufacturing plant - whether it comes from hydroelectricity, coal, natural gas, nuclear, biofuels, or even concentrated solar -- also requires water. Lots of water. Therefore, saving energy saves water. When you save energy you are also saving money by reducing your water and energy bills!
Roanoke River
City of Roanoke
Clean Valley Council

Be part of the solution, not the pollution. Together, we can create a Clean Water Legacy!
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