Over the past three months, Eastern Mennonite University students and professors have begun stages of a large stream restoration project in Bergton, Virginia. The area which makes up Bergton overlays the headwaters of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. These waters and all headwaters that lead to the the Chesapeake Bay are extremely important to the health of the Bay. The reason that these streams need attention is because of the land use surrounding that water. Much of the land is used for farming, and thus erosion of stream banks is an issue.
The eroded sediments then pollute the water, and eventually the Bay, which could cause eutrophication of the Bay. So far, a series of baseline data has been collected to use as a foundation to observe the change that occurs in the watershed. Macro invertebrates have been sampled in various restoration sites as well as water quality monitoring.
Students involved with the project learn in a classroom setting and in the field giving them a broad base of experience for them to use in the future. The past three months have been only the beginning of what will be a long and hopefully successful project to better the world we live in.