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Watershed officials say Warm Springs Run needs attention

November 16, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS. W.Va. -- The Warm Springs Watershed Association believes that protecting Warm Springs Run is important to Morgan County in many ways.

Association president Kate Lehman said the Run not only should be kept beautiful and clean for future generations, but it must be protected against flooding.

The Run is more than 11 miles long from U.S. 522 south at Shirley Drive and runs north to the Potomac River. It's not just inside Berkeley Springs State Park, Lehman said.

"It is an impaired stream ... due to sedimentation," Lehman said, which she said contributes to an increased risk of flooding.

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The Run is affected by land erosion, impenetrable surfaces and pollutants in the 10,000 acres of the watershed, according to Rebecca MacLeod, resource conservation and development coordinator of Potomac Headwaters RC&D.

The Town of Bath suffers from flooding problems along the Run, MacLeod said.

One area of flooding occurs in front of Berkeley Springs High School. That problem could be reduced by restoring the riparian buffer in the area next to the Run, Lehman said.

"Instead of mowing right up to the edge of the Run, add beautiful native plants that will act as a riparian buffer," she said.

Impenetrable surfaces need to be addressed by capturing the water and allowing it to run off slowly. A rain barrel could collect water that can be used to hydrate plants, she said.

Construction and runoff ordinances are needed to prevent erosion, and the county needs to protect or establish more wetlands, Lehman said.

People can further protect the stream by not littering.

"The Run is not a private dump," she said.

Lehman is asking Morgan County residents for feedback.

She wants to know about persistent problems and what assets can be responsibly developed and protected. The assessment information will be used for grant funding, she said.

Lehman can be reached by e-mail at goldfairy39@gmail.com or by phone at 304-279-0717.

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