Land easements. You picture healthier soil, plants, and maybe animals. But what about water?
Easements work wonders for keeping our waters clean! They act as natural filters for the pollutants that are so harmful to the waterways. In the Chesapeake Bay, there is a 1.0 cubic mile Dead Zone, where oxygen is so limited that few species can survive. This environmental detriment is a result of excess nutrients, a majority of which come from agricultural runoff and wastewater.
But what if you don’t live on the Bay? Chances are, your actions and your land are still making an impact…
“Virginia has 15.3 million acres of land (approximately 56 percent of the state) in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Over half of Virginia’s streams and rivers flow to the Bay. Almost three-fourths of the state’s 8.5 million residents live within the watershed.”-Natural Resources Conservation Service Virginia
Easements don’t just keep waters cleaner by filtering nutrients. They also help conserve water resources by protecting other aquatic habitats, like wetlands, as well as the creatures that live within them and rely on them.
As more and more land in VA has been placed into protective easements (among other great conservation measures being put into place), the size of the Chesapeake Bay Dead Zone has decreased in size, with its maximum size in 2020 ( 2.7 cubic miles) being smaller than most recorded dead zones in over 3 decades.
While all easements have some impact on water, this particular site with a view has a great impact in protecting the Bay. With so much frontage on the James River, one of the Chesapeake Bay’s major tributaries, this easement we helped facilitate a few years ago will help to keep the waters clean for years and years to come. Keep in mind that we are also able to assist landowners in expanded services, such as nutrient and mitigation banking, by contacting them with the right professionals!