Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Potomac Floods

Algonkian Regional Park on October 31, 2012

With Hurricane Sandy dumping many inches of rain in the Potomac River watershed, the river is doing its job and carrying that water out to the Bay. Along the way is Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling Virginia. Here are some pictures of the park today, and the river will likely crest sometime tomorrow.

Because rivers flood, one of the best uses for the floodplain next to rivers is to make them parks. Parks like these offer the public access to the river, great areas to hike, play, picnic, and decompress from our daily lives. Then a few times a year, or every few years the waters rise and the park serves a secondary purpose of controlling the flood waters. Parkland next to waterways also serves as natural filters cleaning storm water runoff before it reaches the river. Such passive filtering reduces the expense of treating drinking water. These areas are also some of the richest places for a diversity of plant and animal life.

Most of the over 11,000 acres of parkland owned and operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is along our major waterways. We have over 14 miles of Potomac River frontage, and over 25 miles along the Bull Run and Occoquan Rivers.

1 comment:

Monica said...

This is a great idea, Paul! The river serving as the catch basin during heavy rains is the most natural way to control stormwater from contaminating sources of water where the town directly gets its drinking water. However, it would also help if we preserve the existing drainage system so the rivers won’t have to suffer much from the runoff.

Monica Barnes