Shenandoah Riverkeeper Needs Your Help to Get Rid of Algae
We are still interested in algae complaint letters from all river users and landowners along the Shenandoah North Fork, South Fork and Main Stem. The algaes don't seem to be going away and I need your help doing something about it.
Background: Every year I hear endless citizen complaints about murky green Shenandoah River water, snot-grass or filamentous algae covering the bottom and smothering native grasses in the river, and floating algae clumps that smell. I’m told the algae ruins people’s time, and diminishes their use and enjoyment of the river whether they’re fishing, swimming, wading, paddling or just picnicing and walking their dogs. These algae blooms are caused by polluted run-off and I am trying to get Virginia to:
- Recognize that the river has this problem
- Add it to their 303D/305B list of “impaired” or unhealthy waters
- Develop a plan to solve it, and then solve it.
Please write a complaint letter including the information below and mail it to me. Or you can write a letter online here
Please follow each number and relay all experiences you have had with these algae. The details of your experience (specifically when, specifically where) are critical and here’s what to include:
- Describe when and how often you use the river and describe what you do (fish, swim, paddle, walk dog, etc)
- Describe very specifically what algae problems you’ve observed where, when, how often and what the impact this has had on your use and/or enjoyment of the river. It is very important to be as specific as possible about dates or months of the year and exact location.
- Describe if the algae makes you less likely to use the Shenandoah River for recreation.
- Describe how the algae diminished your use or your enjoyment of the river. Please use the words "has diminished my use" and/or "has diminished my enjoyment" if in fact the algae has impacted your enjoyment or use of the river.
- Describe anything else relevant about the algae (ie. dog got sick after ingesting, made your picnic smell, etc).
- Request that the N. Fork, S. Fork and/or Main Stem be added to Virginia’s impaired waters 303D/305B list.
- You must include your name and address (other contact information could be helpful too).
To help you get started, here is a SAMPLE LETTER
Your letter should be addressed to:
DEQ Office of Water Monitoring and Assessment
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1105
Thank you all and please email or call if I can help,