Monday, November 1, 2010

Virginia Water Radio 40: Week of Nov. 1, 2010

 The Sounds and Music segment of this episode has been revised and redone in Episode 443, 10-22-18.

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio (Episode 40), for the week of November 1, 2010.
Click to Listen to Episode (Length: 00:14:45)


Our news section this week is extended by several minutes to focus on stormwater, currently one of the biggest news-making water issues. After a brief introduction to stormwater, sound clips from talks at the Water Center’s October 21st symposium on stormwater technology, policy, and regulatory developments have been provided.

Stormwater is rainfall or snowmelt that doesn’t seep into the ground and therefore flows over land into natural surface waters or into storm sewer systems that eventually lead to natural waters. In developed areas, buildings, roads, and parking lots increase the area of impervious surface—that is, surface into which water can’t infiltrate—and this leads to increased stormwater runoff. High and rapid stormwater flows can erode natural stream channels and cause downstream flooding, and stormwater can carry oils, pet wastes, excess fertilizers, and other polluting substances into waterways.
  • The first sound clip from the Water Center symposium is from Jennifer Molloy, the stormwater coordinator for the U.S. EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office, who discussed stormwater management trends, policies, and priorities. In the following excerpt, she describes one of the key findings of a 2008 National Research Council study on stormwater. Download Presentation (PDF)

  • The next comment is from Lee Hill, the assistant division director for stormwater management programs at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, who summarized work to revise Virginia’s stormwater regulations. In this excerpt, he emphasizes that stormwater management is a statewide responsibility. Download Presentation (PDF)

  • The symposium’s third speaker was Lisa Ochsenhirt, an attorney with AquaLaw in Richmond, who discussed local government perspectives on stormwater management. She emphasized that local water management will be affected significantly by two major federal initiatives: first, a new national stormwater regulation, which is currently being developed by the U.S. EPA and is proposed to include a special Chesapeake Bay section; and second, the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, also being developed by the EPA and the Bay states. Download Presentation (PDF)

  • The next sound clip comes from Kurt Stephenson, a professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, who discussed the benefits, costs, and uncertainties of stormwater economics in urban settings. In this excerpt, Dr. Stephenson suggests a way of thinking about how society chooses where and how much to invest in stormwater management. Download Presentation (PDF)

  • The symposium’s next speaker was Thomas Schueler, coordinator of the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, who discussed stormwater nutrient accounting and economics in the Bay watershed. In this excerpt from his conclusion, Dr. Schueler summarizes what he sees as the difficult but solvable challenges of Bay-area stormwater issues. Download Presentation (PDF)

  • The next comment comes from Robert Roseen, director of the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center, who discussed the possible economic benefits of low impact development, or LID. In this excerpt, Dr. Roseen discusses how using porous-paving materials helped lead to overall cost savings on a residential project in New Hampshire by serving both transportation and stormwater functions. Download Presentation (PDF)
  • Our last sound clip is from Glenn Moglen, a professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who discussed a stormwater- mapping tool and the difficulties of measuring the percentage of impervious surface in a watershed. In this excerpt from his summary, Dr. Moglen cautions about over-reliance on policies based on a specific threshold percentage of impervious surface. In the excerpt, the abbreviation NLCD refers to the National Land Cover Database, a nationwide inventory based on aerial and satellite images. Download Presentation (PDF)
About 200 people attended the Water Center’s stormwater symposium, a clear sign of the high level of interest and concern about what happens to the water when it rains.  Learn more about the 2010 Virginia Stormwater Symposium at the event's website. Read more about stormwater in Virginia in the August 2010 issue (#54) of Virginia Water Central Newsletter.


This week we feature another mystery sound: The Wood Duck

In this week's recording, the two loud calls were female courtship sounds, the whistling in the background was a male, and the softer sound at the end was a female searching for a nest site. The Wood Duck is a common inhabitant of forested streams, lakes, and wetlands in Virginia and much of North America, nesting in tree cavities or in boxes placed to enhance habitat. Thanks to Lang Elliott of NatureSound Studio for providing this recording. Information on Wood Ducks was taken from A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, by Chandler S. Robbins et al. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001); Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Edition, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (New York: Time-Warner Audio Books, 1997); and Life in the Chesapeake Bay-3rd Edition, by Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).


First, in government policy and regulatory meetings occurring between November 4 and November 10.
  • On November 9, the Virginia Scenic River Advisory Board meets in Richmond. For more information, phone Lynn Crump at (804) 786-5054. The Scenic Rivers Program is administered by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. For more information, see the program Web site at

  • And also on November 9 in Richmond, the U.S. EPA is holding a listening session and an environmental-justice discussion on the Chesapeake Bay aspects of its proposed new national stormwater regulation. For more information, phone Rachel Herbert at (202) 564–2649. EPA began the process for a new national stormwater regulation in December 2009. The listening session on November 9 in Richmond takes place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; the environmental-justice discussion takes place from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Other listening sessions on the Chesapeake Bay aspect take place in Washington D.C. on Nov. 4 and Harrisburg, Penn., on Nov. 17, and an online session takes place Nov. 16, 12 noon to 3 p.m. For more information, visit
Finally, in educational and recreational events:
Virginia Water Radio is a product of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, which is solely responsible for the show’s content. Hosting and bandwidth for this podcast are also provided by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center. We invite you to visit the center online at

Show notes and production assistance were provided by Patrick Fay. Recording assistance was provided by the Office of University Relations at Virginia Tech.

Opinions expressed on this show are not necessarily those of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Tech, or our broadcasting stations.

If you need more information about anything mentioned this week, call us at (540) 231-5463, or visit our web site at