The Tri-County/City Soil and Water Conservation District is excited to introduce the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP) to the Fredericksburg region. This new program provides cost-share incentives and technical assistance to residents, private businesses, and public agencies to install and maintain Best Management Practices (BMPs) and improve the health of streams and rivers throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

With rapid urbanization in our District, it is more important than ever to acknowledge the impact that increased stormwater runoff has on our local watersheds. Stormwater runoff is rainfall that collects and transports pollutants (nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria, sediment) as it flows across rooftops, streets, sidewalks, and lawns, depositing those pollutants into streams and rivers in our backyards. The pollutants can cause algae blooms, sediment deposition, and elevated bacteria levels, which can be harmful for both aquatic and human life. In addition, excess stormwater runoff can lead to streambank erosion and flooding in urban and suburban areas.

BMPs are designed to help slow and/or capture runoff where it falls. VCAP was developed to provide cost-share assistance to encourage the installation of BMPs by non-agricultural landowners to improve water quality throughout the state. The program was developed in partnership with other soil and water conservation districts and the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ Urban Committee.

The amount of cost-share funding available for each practice varies, but the program covers a significant portion of the cost of materials and installation. VCAP offers 13 BMPs that help mitigate the negative impacts of stormwater runoff, including: Impervious Surface Removal, Pet Waste Stations, Urban Nutrient Management, Conservation Landscaping, Rainwater Harvesting, Rain Gardens, Vegetated Stormwater Conveyances, Dry Wells, Bioretention, Green Roofs, Permeable Pavement, Constructed Wetlands and Infiltration Basins.

To lessen the impacts of stormwater runoff, consider reducing the amount of rainwater that leaves your property by installing a BMP. If you’re interested in applying for technical and financial assistance through VCAP, or you would like to request a site visit, contact Kyle Haynes at (540) 656-2401, or email him at kyle.haynes@tccswcd.org

By Kyle Haynes, Tri-County/City SWCD Manager

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