CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Nonpoint Source Program has changed its name to better reflect what it’s all about. The program is now called the Watershed Improvement Branch (WIB).
The mission of the Watershed Improvement Branch, which is within the DEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management (DWWM), is to inspire and empower the people of West Virginia to value and work for clean water. The WIB serves as a liaison between other state and federal agencies, non-government entities and citizen volunteers in the promotion and implementation of various best management practices to help protect and restore watersheds.
The WIB administers programs and funding to educate the public, provides assistance in planning and implementing water quality protection initiatives and offers guidance and support with stream improvement and restoration projects.
“Our purpose – to protect and restore West Virginia’s watersheds, which are invaluable natural resources – remains the same,” said Teresa Koon, assistant DWWM director and manager of the program. “However, we wanted a name that better describes what we do and encompasses all of our work, not just the nonpoint source component.”
Nonpoint source is a reference to the pollution caused when rainwater runoff or snowmelt carry natural and man-made materials into waterways. Common nonpoint source pollutants include eroded soil, livestock and pet waste, fertilizer, spilled products such as gasoline, material from failed septic systems and acid mine drainage.
Some of the projects overseen by the WIB include the West Virginia Save Our Streams initiative, which involves volunteer stream monitoring; the West Virginia Stream Partners Program, which provides grant money to support the efforts of local watershed groups; the Chesapeake Bay Program, which involves the implementation of the state’s watershed implementation plan and other bay efforts; Project WET, which stands for Water Education for Teachers; and the In Lieu Fee Stream and Wetland Mitigation Program, which helps repair impacts to wetlands and other waters.
To learn more about WIB, go to our web page, www.dep.wv.gov/WWE/watershed/WatershedImprovementBranch/Pages/default.aspx
, or check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WVWatershedImprovementBranch
For more DEP news and information in general, go to www.dep.wv.gov
. Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” In addition to a WIB page, we also have Facebook pages for Adopt-A-Highway, West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), the Youth Environmental Program and Human Resources initiatives – so be sure to connect!