New Member of the Clean Fairfax “Team:” Wendy Cohen

blog-pixI am excited to have joined Jen Cole at Clean Fairfax part-time as a program manager with a focus on our Clean Streams Initiative. It’s great to be working again with an environmental non-profit (see bio on Clean Fairfax website). I feel I can extend my own zeal for environmental stewardship and urban sustainability to others through Clean Fairfax’s programs.

I have been very impressed with the scope of Clean Fairfax’s influence: providing supplies to groups doing area cleanups, funding environmental projects in schools, giving hands-on environmental non-profit experience to college interns and work-study students, raising public awareness of environmental issues through social media, and, of course, celebrating our environment with the Northern Virginia community at the annual SpringFest.

The Clean Streams Initiative is a new program for Clean Fairfax. As the year progresses, the plan for this project is to have Clean Fairfax work with the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) Stormwater group, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, and others to locate five streams in Fairfax County for the Clean Streams Initiative. Criteria include “trashiness,” ease of access, proximity to potential volunteer cleanup crews, and equity in spreading locations among supervisory districts. We are currently working out the details to monitor these streams four times a year and clean them up twice annually. We will also be developing educational outreach plans specific to each site to work on pollution prevention.  This will be of assistance to the County in fulfillment of the requirements of their MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permit. It will be interesting to see what we find floating in our streams and washed up on the banks!

It’s an important time to be working on environmental issues in Fairfax County as the county continues to grow rapidly. While environmental problems I worked on thirty years ago may not have been solved, it is groups like Clean Fairfax that keep these problems in check and ensure a healthier environmental future.

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