June 10, 2013
12:00 pm-2:00 pm
October 21, 2013
12:00 pm-2:00 pm
The Rivanna River Basin Commission (RRBC) was created in response to community upwelling of interest in and concern for the Rivanna River and its watershed that was documented in 1998 by the State of the Basin project spearheaded by the TJPDC. The report from that project included several recommendations that pointed to the creation of a basin-wide entity to coordinate protection and conservation work in the watershed. Enabling legislation from the 2004 Virginia General Assembly described the role and structure of the Commission. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) raised approximately $400,000 from private donors expressly for launching the Commission, which became a reality when the counties of Greene, Fluvanna, and Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville joined.
The Commission started to meet in 2007, with staff support provided by TNC and fiscal agency by the Thomas Jefferson SWCD. A robust and engaged Technical Advisory Committee was also formed, comprised of “core-TAC members” (water resources, environmental, and planning staff appointed by their member local governments plus the TJ and Culpepper SWCD district managers) and “non-core TAC members” (local or regional technical experts in hydrology, sedimentation, stormwater, geomorphology, and water quality). The TAC has met 4 top 6 times per year since 2007 and, in 2008, recommended that the RRBC focus its watershed protection efforts on mitigating the harmful effects of altered hydrology that cause excessive and harmful sedimentation in area streams. A substantial grant from NFWF was proposed and secured to advance this recommendation at the locality and Rivanna watershed scales.
In 2009, RRBC hired Leslie Middleton as its first Executive Director. Also during this year, RRBC became its own fiscal agent, requiring the implementation of many organizational and administrative processes. During 2009-2010, Ms. Middleton and part-time administrative staff have provided Commission and TAC meeting support; NFWF grant program management, coordination with the localities, and implementation of project components; sought additional funding for Rivanna programs; and worked regionally and with state agencies to help prepare RRBC and its member localities for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.
The Rivanna River Basin Commission provides guidance for the stewardship of water and natural resources of the Rivanna River Basin and promotes activities by local, state, and federal governments, and by individuals, that foster resource stewardship for the environmental and economic health of the Basin.