To protect the drinking water in the Occoquan Reservoir, the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust wants to go to the source, by conserving the Bull Run Headwaters.
The NVCT recently won a grant from the Virginia Environmental Endowment to do just that, allowing the NVCT to launch the Bull Run Headwaters Initiative.
"Protecting land along streams and rivers with voluntary conservation easements will be a major focus of the Bull Run Headwaters Initiative," Andrew Spence of the NVCT said in a prepared statement. "The VEE grant will enable NVCT to complete an assessment of current watershed conditions, inform landowners within the watershed about the environmental and financial benefits of voluntary conservation easements, and work with willing landowners to protect important properties within the watershed."
The Bull Run Headwaters span 65 square miles primarily in Loudoun County and Prince William County and feed into the Occoquan Reservoir, which supplies drinking water for over one million residents of Northern Virginia.
By preserving the Bull Run Headwaters, the NVCT will preserve wetlands, forests and fields that naturally filter water and replenish groundwater. It will also protect the area as a wildlife area for several bird species that the National Audubon Society has deemed at-risk.