Related Studies

In 2004 The Rockfish Valley Foundation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia Cooperative Extension and Canaan Valley Institute assisted in a study of the Rockfish River in Nelson County, Virginia. This study was a project of the Virginia Service Training for Environmental Progress (STEP) and its intent was to identify the physical state of the Rockfish River. Similar to the Tye River, there was very little data on the river and this was a pioneer study to begin looking at the physical state and water quality issues regarding the Rockfish River.

A current project with the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (TJS&WCD) is a study of the Hardware River expected to be completed in December 2009. The TJS&WCD received a large grant from the Charlottesville Albemarle Community Foundation to compile a visual survey of the Hardware River. Like the Tye River, the Hardware has been placed on the impaired waters list. The causes for some of the bacterial contamination were explored in the Hardware study. Some possibilities for contaminants reaching the waterway is the amount of cattle access along the Hardware. Although cattle access is not a prominent issue along the Tye, grazing fields with no buffer zones do comprise a large portion of the river’s banks. Because the runoff does not have a natural filtration system, this could be the cause for some E.coli contamination in the Tye River. To combat this issue in the Hardware River, the study team has developed scheduled monitoring of the E.coli levels in the Hardware. Since its inception, the Hardware River team has been working with property owners along the river. The end goal of the project is to provide information to the property owners and to make suggestion for restoration to aid in riparian conservation. The Hardware team has been successful in gaining the attention of the community and they foresee a positive outcome of their hard work and efforts.