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River Friendly Capital Improvements

piedmont upland wetland 2

We all know innovation is a critical ingredient for success in the tech sector, would this same spirit be helpful in river and wildlife conservation programming?

If so, what might conservation innovation look like?

Perhaps, as in other economic sectors, a focus on the supply chain would be helpful. This could mean an examination of the processes we use to conserve and restore nature’s services. Within these processes, we might look for synergies that lead to solution cost effectiveness, such as expenditures that provide multiple societal goals, shared among multiple societal entities (e.g., local governments and public/private utilities).

As the Commonwealth of Virginia moves forward with the Chesapeake Bay clean up efforts (more formally called the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan) there are milestones that have to be met along the way to reduce the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Sediment entering our streams, rivers and ultimately the Bay. As the “easier” practices or strategies are implemented and the low-hanging fruit is picked, stakeholders are left with choices that are more and more costly per pound of pollution removed, unless we find different approaches. To maximize opportunities to effectively remove pollution at the lowest possible cost, one approach is to examine all capital investments for the multiple benefits of also reducing pollution.

Does the planning and budgeting of needed capital investments, whether it be a new school, a public park or a sewer line extension, include examining project modifications to achieve added nutrient and sediment reductions without adding cost or with only a marginal premium?

We call capital expenditures that provide water quality and other benefits “River Friendly Capital Improvements“. Visit this new website to learn more about this project.