Prince William Conservation Alliance
Home About Us Calendar Blog Resources Donate
Back to PWCA Calendar
2013 Community Stream Stewards
Created for concerned citizens interested in acting to protect clean water resources from Prince William to the Chesapeake Bay

Whether you live right next to a stream or miles away, your actions affect water quality. PWCA's Stream Stewards provides you with information and ideas to help improve your community, protect our public drinking water supply and ensure a sustainable future for our children.

Stream Stewards pairs evening lectures with field tours to illustrate key concepts at familiar locations close to home. Topics cover the biology, dynamics and physical characteristics of streams, and consider the role local waterways play in ongoing efforts to save the Chesapeake Bay.

Questions & RSVP to or 703.499.4954. Click HERE to download the brochurs (pdf).
We appreciate the support of Fairfax Water!

The Evolution of Stormwater Management
with Bel Pachaii, Prince William County Stormwater Management; review by Kelly Moravec

Constructed Wetland at Pond 494
with Bel Pachaii, Prince William County Stormwater Management; review by Kelly Moravec

Stream Stewards 2013 Schedule

Living Shorelines Talk
with Tom Dombrowski
Thursday, June 6, 7:30pm

Living Shorelines Walk
with Tom Dombrowski
Saturday, June 8, 10:00am

Pipes & Ponds in Older Communities Talk
with Clay Morris
Thursday, September 5, 7:30pm

Pipes & Ponds in Older Communities Walk
with Clay Morris
Thursday, September 7, 10:00am

Sudley Place – Community Partners in Clean Water Talk
with Julie Flanagan
Thursday, October 3, 7:30pm

Tree Planting  – Stormwater Facility and Minnieville Road Dog Park
Sponsored by PWCA, Fairfax Water, PWC Parks Dept. and Supervisor Mike May
Saturday, October 5, 10:00am

Organic Matter in Streams and Rivers Talk
with Jake Hosen
Thursday November 7, 7:30pm

Agriculture Land, Streams & Buffers Walk
with Jay Yankey
Saturday, November 9, 10:00am

Stream Stewards Speakers

Tom Dombrowski is an Environmental Engineer with Prince William County Department of Public Works Watershed Branch. He currently is the County Wetland/Stream/EA Specialist. Tom is also involved in the development of the Prince William County Stream Program, where he coordinates stream restoration design, obtains project permits and oversees the in-house construction of the restoration project.

Julia Flanagan is the Prince William County Arborist, Watershed Management Dept. You can see the results of some of her early projects at Vet's Park and Cloverdale Park.

Jake Hosen is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, College. He studies the ecology and hydrology of intermittent streams in the Parker's Creek watershed on land protected by the American Chestnut Land Trust. Jake researches the chemistry of the compounds that fuel the growth of stream microbes and how changes in microbial activity impact streams.

Clay Morris is an Environmental Engineer with Prince William County Environmental Services-Watershed Management with a background in Restoration Ecology and Natural Resource Management. He is part of the award-winning stream restoration program in Prince William County.

Harry Wiggins is hiker who has traveled 1,260 miles on the Applaichan Trail. He maintains a section of the trail along the Occoquan River and at Prince William Forest Park.

Jay Yankey is the District Manager of Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District. He also farms part-time growing 50 acres of grain crops, produce and bedding plants, which he sells to the public through his market stand on Glenkirk Road.

Read about previous Stream Stewards Programs

One Stream at a Time Tour
Clay Morris
Sunday, March 25, 1:00–4:00 pm
Meet at Hylbrook Park, 2440 Prince William Pkwy,Woodbridge, directions

PWCA’s first session of the Stream Stewards program kicked off with an eye-opening tour of two badly damaged streams, one in Hylbrook Park and the other half a mile away off Route 1. Both streams are high priority restoration candidates that illustrate the opportunities and challenges for Prince William County to protect local water quality and help save the Chesapeake Bay. Keep reading...

Intermittent Stream Ecology Talk & Intermittent Stream Tour
with Jake Hosen, April 5 and April 7, 2012

Jake Hosen, University of Maryland, gave a great talk on streams and what keeps them healthy April 4, and followed it up Saturday morning with a guided walk through the flood plain of Cedar Run on Merrimac Farm to view the streams there. According to Jake, who studies the ecology and hydrology of temporary streams in the Parker's Creek watershed on land protected by the American Chestnut Land Trust, streams sequester excess nutrients from water before it reaches larger water bodies, such as the Chesapeake Bay. So, healthy streams contribute to a healthy Bay. Keep reading...


Pipes & Ponds in Older Communities Talk
Thursday, September 5, 7:30 to 9:00pm
Bull Run Unitarian Universalist, 9250 Main St., Manassas
Speaker: Clay Morris

Retrofits add new parts to old, poorly designed and/ or poorly maintained stormwater systems to help prevent flooding and protect clean water resources. In Prince William County, upcoming projects focus on needs to address issues at stormwater ponds in older communities.

Stormwater management ponds are ubiquitous with urban development, but not all ponds are created equal.  Initially, ponds were designed to control flooding due to the increased runoff, but as time went on, ponds were designed to remove pollutants as well. 

Over the last few decades, much has been learned about increasing the efficiency of stormwater management.  Now, as part of Chesapeake Bay clean up efforts, localities are challenged with finding ways to “retrofit” existing ponds so they better  protect clean water resources, neighborhoods and public infrastructure, such as sewer pipes.

Please join us Thursday evening for a talk covering the choices, constraints and benefits encountered when upgrading aging stormwater infrastructure. On the following Saturday morning, join us for a field trip to Pond 494 (next to Mullen Elementary School) where the retrofit is underway and tour the project in person.

Pipes & Ponds in Older Communities Walk
Saturday, September 7, 10:00am to Noon
8000 Rodes Drive Manassas
Speaker: Clay Morris

Prince William is moving forward to upgrade older stormwater facilities throughout the County. Projects are generally funded by the Stormwater Fee, which collects $37.10 /year for single family homes, less for townhomes and $18.02/ 1,000 sq ft. for commercial development.

One current project, located next to Mullen Elementary School, will convert a “dry” stormwater pond into a Constructed Wetland.  This conversion will increase the biological uptake of nutrients as they enter into the facility, resulting in cleaner water flowing from land into the stream.

Please join us to tour this exciting project for yourself and learn more about County projects aimed at protecting communities, public drinking water and the Chesapeake Bay.

Homeowner's Shoreline Stabilization Project Tour
Saturday, September 14, 10:00 to 11:30am
3525 Waters End Trail
Speaker: Harry Wiggins

The Occoquan Reservoir shoreline is subject to substantial erosion due to stormwater runoff and historically poor stormwater management during periods of heavy rain. Most of Prince William's Occoquan Reservoir shoreline is privately owned and landowners play a critical role in protecting the shoreline.

In the fall of 2012, a shoreline stabilization project was completed on 533 feet of privately-owned shoreline in the Lake Ridge area, with support from Fairfax Water and Prince William County Public Works.

Coir logs (coconut fiber) logs were used along the shoreline to prevent erosion and facilitate native plant growth and root systems along the shoreline. The coir logs are an environmentally sound alternative to a hardened approach (seawalls, bulkheads, stone) for shoreline stabilization.

Another project is now planned for the fall of 2013, utilizing the same materials along 240 feet of additional shoreline. Please join us for an on-site tour and a discussion of the techniques and lessons learned from projects aimed at protecting the Occoquan Reservoir. Copies of the plans and budget will be available for review.

Sudley Place – Community Partners in Clean Water Talk
Thursday, Oct. 3, 7:30 to 9:00pm
Bull Run Unitarian, 9350 Main St., Manassas
Speaker Julie Flanagan

Prince William County Watershed Management Branch is partnering with Sudley Place Townhomes Association to construct two rain gardens within their common area and reforest nearly 3 acres of riparian corridor stretching for over 1000 linear feet of the intermittent stream flowing through their community. 

The effort is both environmental and educational as the residents of this older development, built in the 1970s, join with the County to bring the first features within their community designed specifically to clean storm water at its source before it reaches Bull Run.  Come learn about this endeavor and perhaps join the community planting day planned for a Saturday following the talk. 

Tree Planting! Stormwater Facility and Minnieville Road Dog Park
Saturday, October 5 at 10:00am
Dog Park Parking Lot at Minnieville Road and Colby Drive, 13012 Sturbridge Drive 22192, directions
RSVP appreciated to, 703-499-4954
Sponsored by Fairfax Water, Prince William County Parks, Lake Ridge Parks & Recreation Association, Supervisor Mike May and Prince William Conservation Alliance

Help make your community more attractive and slow the flow of stormwater runoff. This planting includes areas surrounding the popular Prince William County Dog Park and adjacent slope leading to the parking lot and dry stormwater pond. Trees and shrubs will be on hand. Bring a smile and a shovel, work tools appreciated. Lunch is provided.

Organic Matter in Streams and Rivers Talk
Thursday November 7
Bull Run Unitarian, 9350 Main St., Manassas
Speaker Jake Hosen

Organic matter is the energy currency of food webs; the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other compounds that all living organisms need to survive are composed of organic carbon. Everything in a stream is food for some organism, from the muck in the bottom of the stream (it's called detritus) to the fish we might want to eat.

Much of the stream food web is invisible to us, including bacteria that skim dissolved organic matter from the surrounding water and are subsequently consumed by other microorganisms, such as ciliates. As organisms process the organic matter they eat, much of it is respired, returning to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

Please join us to learn about the complex food webs of streams and how the stream in your backyard is linked to global carbon cycles and climate change.

Agricultural Land, Streams and Buffers Walk
with Jay Yankey
Saturday, November 9, 10:00am

With over 30,000 acres of agricultural land in Prince William County, keeping sediment and nutrient runoff from farms from entering our local waterways remains a very important issue. 

Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District works closely with many farmers in the county to see that adequate buffers are restored or maintained to help filter pollutants from adjacent crop and pasture land.  These vegetated buffers also serve as important wildlife habitat.  

On the tour we will see both grass and wooded buffers.  We will observe buffers that have been established for years and compare with some that have recently been completed.   District staff will talk about how the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and TMDL play a role in the preservation and restoration of buffers. They will also showcase various incentive programs available to provide assistance to landowners interested in restoring agricultural buffers. Dress for the weather and bring your questions!

Previous 2013 Stream Stewards programs:

Living Shorelines Talk
with Tom Dombrowski
Thursday, June 6 at 7:30pm
Bull Run Unitarian Church, 9350 Main Street, Manassas

The shoreline of Prince William County is an important interface between land and water. The type of shoreline can have dramatic effects on habitat, living resources and human experiences.

But along the shoreline of Prince William County many landowners have "hardened" their shorelines with bulkheads, seawalls and stones in attempts to control shoreline erosion. These hardened structures can actually increase the rate of coastal erosion.

Alternatives are available that use a natural living shoreline approach that will control erosion and improve aquatic habitat.

Living Shorelines Walk
with Tom Dombrowski
Saturday, June 8 at 10:00am
Leesylvania State Park, main parking lot

Join us at Leesylvania State Park to see for yourself the challenges and potential benefits associated with re-creating Living Shorelines.

Leader Tom Dombrowski will talk about the County’s ongoing project to restore Potomac River shoreline, create wildlife habitat and prevent erosion. View the current condition of Potomac River shoreline and consider the benefits of restoration investments to wildlife and people.