It all flows downstream! As you can see from this map of “Distribution of Impaired Waters Throughout Virginia Watersheds” by the DEQ, the pollutants in the first-order streams (these are the “starter” streams that have no other streams feeding into them) accumulate as the waterways merge into higher-order streams and rivers. The high number of impaired streams in the watersheds towards the coast exemplify how upstream contamination affects everything downstream, and eventually ends up in the Atlantic Ocean. No matter where in Virginia you live, your actions affect the people, animals, and water downstream of you! That’s one of the reasons we work to protect land in every part of the state. Join us!