The Valley's namesake river has come in number five in the country, but it's not a good ranking for the Shenandoah River. A new report out Wednesday morning finds it's the fifth most endangered river in the country. It also says the coming year could be a turning point for the river if citizens and local governments take action.
More than 1,300 miles of rivers and streams in the Shenandoah watershed fail to meet federal clean water standards. Poorly planned development is highlighted as one of the culprits adding to the river's poor health. Other factors include the recent fish kill and agricultural runoff.
People at the Valley Conservation Council say development itself isn't bad; they just want to see development in the right places. That can be accomplished if local counties and cities enact ordinances to minimize the impact new development has on the valley's water resources.
Individual citizens can also get involved. Many farmers are doing their part to clean up the way they do things. One example is in Augusta County where 150 miles of forest have been planted along the streams to help with the revitalization process.
Each county in the Valley is facing different decisions right now. To learn more about specific issues in your area, you can go on-line to www.valleyconservation.org