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SOIL AND WATER

Soil and water conservation programs in general

Introduction

photo of water dropVirginia's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) coordinates and directs programs and services to prevent degradation of the commonwealth's water quality and quantity. Most DCR soil and water conservation efforts are devoted to controlling nonpoint source pollution.

Nonpoint source pollution is water pollution caused by runoff that is not from a single point, such as a wastewater treatment plant or industrial discharge pipe. Because NPS pollution is so diverse, approaches to addressing the sources must also be diverse. It requires numerous programs and involves a number of state, local and federal agencies, and the private sector.

Statewide nonpoint source pollution control programs and services support both individual natural resource stewardship and assist local governments with resource management. These statewide programs are funded through state agency budgets and through non-general fund revenues raised by programs such as sale of Chesapeake Bay license plates. Technical assistance, financial assistance, education and research efforts are enhanced by funds available from the federal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program (Section 319 of the Clean Water Act) and the Chesapeake Bay Program. These activities are targeted using a statewide system of 6th order watersheds analyzed for their potential for NPS pollution.

In addition, department staff administers nonpoint source pollution control programs required by state law. They include nutrient management, agricultural best management practices, floodplain management, dam safety, and the administrative, technical and financial support of soil and water conservation districts.

Services are delivered to local governments, special interest groups and citizens by staff members located in eight regional offices. Staff in Richmond serves as a resource for field staff. This arrangement ensures that technical expertise is consistent and near the client.

Regional Offices

Click here to download the latest map depicting DCR's regional soil and water conservation offices.

  • Abingdon: 355 Deadmore Street, Abingdon, VA 24210; phone: 276-676-5528, fax #: 276-676-5527. Here's a Google map.
  • Christiansburg: 8 Radford St., Suite 102A, Christiansburg, VA 24073; phone 540-394-2583, fax 540-394-2588. Here's a Google map.
  • Richmond: 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA  23219; phone 804-527-4795, fax 804-371-2630. Here's a Google map.
  • Staunton: Mailing address, P.O. Box 1, Verona, VA 24482. Physical address, 84 Laurel Hill Rd., Verona, VA 24482; phone: 540-332-9991, fax #: 540-248-3069. Here's a Google map.
  • Suffolk: 1548 Holland Road, Suite 200, Suffolk, VA 23434; phone: 757-925-2468, fax #: 757-925-2388. Here's a Google map.
  • Tappahannock: Mailing address, P. O. Box 1425, Tappahannock, VA 22560. Physical address, 772 Richmond Beach Rd., No. 6, Tappahannock, VA 22560. Phone: 804-443-6752, fax #: 804-443-4534. Here's a Google map.
  • Warrenton: 98 Alexandria Pike, Suite 33, Warrenton, VA 20186-2849; phone: 540-347-6420, fax #: 540-347-6423. Here's a Google map.

Click here for a larger, more detailed version of the above map. The map delineates jurisdictional and SWCD boundaries.

DCR Soil and Water Conservtion Regional Offices, by Locality

A-B | C-D | E-F | G-H | I-J | K-L | M-N | O-P | Q-R | S-T | U-Z

Locality Regional Office Phone No.
Accomack County Suffolk 757-925-2468
Albemarle County Staunton 540-332-9991
Alexandria Warrenton 540-347-6420
Allegheny County Staunton 540-332-9991
Amelia County Richmond 804-527-4795
Amherst County Staunton 540-332-9991
Appomattox County Staunton 540-332-9991
Arlington Warrenton 540-347-6420
Augusta County Staunton 540-332-9991
Ashland Richmond 804-527-4795
Bath County Staunton 540-332-9991
Bedford County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Bedford Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Bland County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Berryville Warrenton 540-347-6420
Bluefield Abingdon 276-676-5529
Botetourt County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Bristol Abingdon 276-676-5529
Brunswick County Suffolk 757-925-2468
Buchanan County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Buckingham County Richmond 804-527-4795
Buena Vista Staunton 540-332-9991
Campbell County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Caroline County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Carroll County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Charles City County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Charlotte County Richmond 804-527-4795
Charlottesville Staunton 540-332-9991
Chesapeake Suffolk 757-925-2468
Chesterfield County Richmond 804-527-4795
Clark County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Clifton Forge Staunton 540-332-9991
Colonial Heights Richmond 804-527-4795
Covington Staunton 540-332-9991
Craig County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Culpeper County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Culpeper Warrenton 540-347-6420
Cumberland County Richmond 804-527-4795
Danville Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Dickenson County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Dinwiddie County Richmond 804-527-4795
Emporia Suffolk 757-925-2468
Essex County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Fairfax County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Fairfax Warrenton 540-347-6420
Falls Church Warrenton 540-347-6420
Farmville Richmond
804-527-4795
Fauquier County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Floyd County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Fluvanna County Richmond 804-527-4795
Franklin County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Frederick County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Fredricksburg Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Galax Abingdon 276-676-5529
Giles County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Gloucester County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Goochland County Richmond 804-527-4795
Grayson County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Greene County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Greensville County Suffolk 757-925-2468
Halifax County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Hampton Suffolk 757-925-2468
Hanover County Richmond 804-527-4795
Harrisonburg Staunton 540-332-9991
Henrico County Richmond 804-527-4795
Henry County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Highland County Staunton 540-332-9991
Hillsville Abingdon 276-676-5529
Hopewell Richmond 804-527-4795
Isle of Wight County Suffolk 757-925-2468
James City County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
King & Queen County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
King George County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
King William County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Lancaster County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Lee County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Lexington Staunton 540-332-9991
Loudoun County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Louisa County Richmond 804-527-4795
Lunenburg County Richmond 804-527-4795
Lynchburg Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Madison County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Manassas Park Warrenton 540-347-6420
Manassas Warrenton 540-347-6420
Martinsville Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Mathews County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Mecklenburg County Suffolk 757-925-2468
Middlesex County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Montgomery County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Nelson County Staunton 540-332-9991
New Kent County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Newport News Suffolk 757-925-2468
Norfolk Suffolk 757-925-2468
Northampton County Suffolk 757-925-2468
Northumberland County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Norton Abingdon 276-676-5529
Nottoway County Richmond 804-527-4795
Orange County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Page County Staunton 540-332-9991
Patrick County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Petersburg Richmond 804-527-4795
Pittsylvania County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Poquoson Suffolk 757-925-2468
Portsmouth Suffolk 757-925-2468
Powhatan County Richmond 804-527-4795
Prince Edward County Richmond 804-527-4795
Prince George County Richmond 804-527-4795
Prince William County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Pulaski County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Radford Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Rappahannock County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Richmond County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Richmond Richmond 804-527-4795
Roanoke County Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Roanoke Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Rockbridge County Staunton 540-332-9991
Rockingham County Staunton 540-332-9991
Russell County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Rocky Mount Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Salem Christiansburg 540-394-2583
Scott County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Scottsville Staunton 540-332-9991
Shenandoah County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Smyth County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Southampton County Suffolk 757-925-2468
Spotsylvania County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Stafford County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Staunton Staunton 540-332-9991
Stephens City Warrenton 540-347-6420
Suffolk Suffolk 757-925-2468
Surry County Suffolk 757-925-2468
Sussex County Suffolk 757-925-2468
Tazewell County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Virginia Beach Suffolk 757-925-2468
Warren County Warrenton 540-347-6420
Washington County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Waynesboro Staunton 540-332-9991
Westmoreland County Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Williamsburg Tappahannock 804-443-6752
Winchester Warrenton 540-347-6420
Wise County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Wythe County Abingdon 276-676-5529
Wytheville Abingdon 276-676-5529
York County Tappahannock 804-443-6752

Programs

DCR's programs are grouped according to function. The major areas are nonpoint source pollution control, urban programs, and district and landowner assistance. In addition to NPS control, soil and water conservation staff supports DCR's mission of reducing the risk to life and property from flooding and shoreline erosion. The staff works to support local efforts to protect citizens from flood hazards, and the agency manages programs to prevent pollution and loss of property caused by shoreline erosion.

In addition, DCR engineers help soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) with dam certification. Twelve SWCDs own 103 dams. These dams were originally built for flood control by the United States Department of Agriculture's Soil Conservation Service, which is now the Natural Resources Conservation Service. When Dam Safety Regulations came into effect, it became necessary for districts to hire an engineer to inspect and certify the dams. DCR provides that engineer. The same engineer serves as contract officer when these structures need modification.

Over the past several years, staff has assisted with the establishment and support of community-based committees in watersheds having water quality problems from nonpoint pollution sources. The size of each watershed varies, given the interests and issues addressed by the groups, but frequently the committees follow the small 6th order hydrologic unit boundaries delineated by DCR in cooperation with other state and federal agencies.

Watershed committees are comprised of citizens, government and private sector representatives from various interest groups. The primary mission of most committees is to identify the causes of NPS pollution and effect lasting change with solutions members of the community will accept and implement.

The establishment and long-term continuation of watershed committees is dynamic. Some groups have had the same members for several years. Others are formed to address specific water quality problems and, once resolved, look to other groups such as SWCDs to monitor progress and prevent future problems.

For further information regarding local watershed committees, please contact your local soil and water conservation district.