“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Blacksburg in Montgomery County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Restoring Stroubles Creek

Restoring Stroubles Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 3, 2011
1. Restoring Stroubles Creek Marker
What is wrong with Stroubles Creek?

Stroubles Creek is considered “impaired” by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality because it does not support a diverse community of aquatic insects and fish. The main pollutants are sediment and bacteria.

What is being done to help Stroubles Creek?

The Center for Watershed Studies in the Biological Systems Engineering Department at Virginia Tech, with assistance from Virginia Tech Facilities, the Town of Blacksburg, and local citizens, developed a plan which identified the sources of sediment to Stroubles Creek and actions that could be taken to improve stream health. Virginia Tech and the Town of Blacksburg are installing new stormwater “rain gardens” throughout campus and town to allow stormwater to soak into the ground and to remove pollutants. The Center for Watershed Studies is working with the Virginia Tech Foundation to fence cattle away from the stream, to reduce stream bank erosion, and to reestablish native forest vegetation along the stream channel. Stroubles Stream Restoration

Collapsing stream banks along Stroubles Creek were identified as a major source of sediment to the stream. With funding provided by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation from the Virginia Water
Stroubles Creek Watershed image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 3, 2011
2. Stroubles Creek Watershed
Quality Improvement Fund, faculty from the Center for Watershed Studies in the Biological Systems Engineering are investigating techniques for restoring degraded streams.

Why should livestock not be in the stream?

In addition to defecating into and adjacent to the stream, livestock, such as cattle and horses, cause physical damage to the stream channel. They eat vegetation growing on the banks, exposing the soil to erosion. These large animals also trample the stream banks, increasing soil erosion.

What happens when it rains?

Most rain, sleet, snow and hail that falls in a forest is slowly absorbed into the ground. When plants and trees are replaced with concrete and asphalt for roads, buildings, parking lots and other development, fewer natural resources are available where stormwater can soak into the ground. In cities and towns, if stormwater is not absorbed naturally, it will travel over concrete and asphalt until it reaches streams directly or through storm drains which empty into streams, lakes and rivers.

What is polluting our streams?

Historically, factories were the main polluters of streams and rivers. National laws were enacted to prevent water contamination from factories, so this is no longer the major cause of unhealthy streams and rivers. So what continues to pollute our streams
Restoring Stroubles Creek Marker (facing west) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 3, 2011
3. Restoring Stroubles Creek Marker (facing west)
and rivers? The answer is polluted runoff. Runoff is rain, sleet, snow and hail that can’t soak into the ground where forests are replaced with roads, parking lots, yards, and sidewalks. As runoff travels over these surfaces, it collects pollutants such as fertilizer, trash, motor oil, loose soil and animal manure. This polluted runoff quickly finds its way into our local streams and the New River both directly and though storm drains. All this polluted runoff results in unhealthy streams and rivers.

What can you do to protect local streams?

Every person can make a difference in protecting and improving the health of our local streams. By following these simple steps and working together, we can have clean streams for our families and children to enjoy both now and in the future. Only rain should go down a storm drain. Storm drains lead to streams, so be sure to avoid dumping anything in them.

• Fix oil and fluid leaks on your car.
• Dispose of used motor oil at recycling centers.
• Put litter in trash cans.
• Pick up pet waste and dispose of it in trash cans or toilets.
• Follow application and storage directions for fertilizers and other chemicals.
• Keep livestock out of streams or restrict their access to a limited area that is protected against erosion.

A collaborative effort between the Virginia
Stroubles Creek (facing east) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 3, 2011
4. Stroubles Creek (facing east)
Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Tech Biological Systems Engineering Department and the Center for Watershed Studies

Additional support from Environmental Services & Consulting, LLC, and RPM Ecosystems, LLC.

Erected by Virginia Tech, Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation, McCormick Taylor.
Location. 37° 12.816′ N, 80° 26.526′ W. Marker is in Blacksburg, Virginia, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Stroubles Creek Road south of Foxridge Lane. Click for map. Marker is located on a footpath along Stroubles Creek. Marker is in this post office area: Blacksburg VA 24060, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. William Ballard Preston (approx. 0.7 miles away); Smithfield (approx. 0.8 miles away); Founding of the Future Farmers of Virginia (approx. 0.8 miles away); Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Stroubles Creek Watershed and the Duck Pond (approx. 1.1 miles away); Solitude (approx. 1.3 miles away); Mary Draper Ingels (approx. 1.3 miles away); Robert James Davidson (approx. 1.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Blacksburg.
Also see . . .  Stroubles Creek Watershed Initiative. Virginia Water Resources Research Center (Submitted on April 5, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
Categories. EducationEnvironmentWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 778 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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