Rivanna River Basin Commission
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The Rivanna River Basin Commission (RRBC) is the regional organization tasked with recommending programs for the enhancement of the water and natural resources of the Rivanna River and its watershed. The four jurisdictions participating in the RBBC are Albemarle, Fluvanna and Greene Counties and the City of Charlottesville.
The RRBC formed in 2007, as a result of enabling legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2004.
OrganizationCulpeper Soil and Water Conservation District and Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
The Commission is by statute an "independent local entity without political subdivision," and as such is a public body bound to the laws of Virginia like other public bodies such as the Board of Supervisors and other Commissions, including the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Conflict of Interest Act, and Public Procurement Policy.
The Commission is supported by its Executive and Technical Advisory Committees, Executive Director, other staff, and volunteers.
Initial funding for the Rivanna River Basin Commission comes from a grant from the Nature Conservancy of Virginia that represents the generous contributions of private donors committed specifically to helping launch the River Basin Commission. Additional funds for specific projects of the Commission are obtained through state and federal grants. As an entity of local government, the Commission may receive funding and contributions from public and private sources.
The Rivanna River Basin Commission, informed by the analysis and work of its Technical Advisory Committee, has determined that the primary threat to the health of the Rivanna Basin and its streams is excessive sedimentation caused by stormwater related to stream flows that scour the channels.
During 2007-08, the RRBC Technical Advisory Committee consulted researchers, hydrologists, and engineers and came to the consensus that departures from the naturally occurring pathways, quantities, and rates of water flow result in the “over-arching” threat, and these departures, in turn, drive other threats to the natural system.
This "altered hydrology" results in excessive sediment in the waterways, which, in turn, adversely affects the health of the biota in the streams. Though the Rivanna also suffers from other issues (for example, contamination from e. coli and other bacteria that are harmful to human health), the Commission is focused on understanding the science of excessive flows well enough to prioritize effective conservation strategies.
The RRBC has undertaken various projects including promotion of Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), the Healthy Waters Initiative, and the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Pilot Program.
The Commission is comprised of elected officials and appointed citizen members that represent the localities of the Rivanna watershed. Elected officials are "appointed" by their governing bodies and serve out the duration of their elected terms. Citizens are appointed by the elected body of each locality to represent the citizens of that locality and serve four-year terms (renewable and staggered).
- Marvin Moss, Fluvanna County Appointed Citizen, RRBC Chair
- Jim Frydl, Greene County Board of Supervisors, RRBC Vice-Chair
- J. Robert Brame III, Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District, RRBC Treasurer
- Duane Snow, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
- Rodney Thomas, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
- Richard Randolph, Albemarle County Appointed Citizen
- Dave Norris, Charlottesville City Council
- Dede Smith, Charlottesville City Council
- Keith Lancaster, Charlottesville City Appointed Citizen
- Joe Chesser, Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors
- Robert "Bob" Ullenbruch, Fluvanna County
- Eddie Deane, Greene County Board of Supervisors
- Carl Schmidt, Greene County Appointed Citizen
- Lonnie Murray, Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District
- Leslie Middleton, Executive Director
- Jessica Lassetter, Program Manager
- Jed Grubbs, Program Assistant & GIS Specialist