In 2002, Fairfax County began developing management plans for each of its 30 watersheds. Its purposes were to restore and protect the county's streams, of which 70% are in fair to very poor condition, support Virginia's commitment to the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement, and meet state and federal regulatory requirements.
According to the Fairfax County Stream Protection Strategy, Little Hunting Creek was one of the five watersheds in the poorest condition in the county. It was the first watershed for which a plan was developed.
The Little Hunting Creek Watershed Management Plan was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on February 7, 2005.
The plan is now in the implementation phase. When fully implemented, the plan will reduce the stormwater runoff peak flows in the primary tributaries, reduce nutrient loadings in the streams, and improve the stream habitat. A quick overview of Fairfax County's approach is presented in this video. Currently active and completed projects are listed here and shown on this map.
The plan calls for the county to:
Facilitate and provide technical assistance to homeowners for projects, such as rain barrels, rain gardens, and cisterns, to reduce stormwater runoff from their properties; build demonstration projects of "low impact development" (LID) techniques.
Where possible, build new stormwater facilities, and improve and better maintain existing ones.
Restore riparian buffers by planting native plants and trees adjacent to streams.
Restore streams to reduce erosion and improve aquatic habitat.
Conserve critical wetlands areas through land purchase or conservation easements, and restore wetlands where suitable.
Identify sources of fecal coliform and illicit discharges (e.g., paint or toxic chemicals) and take actions to stop them.
Investigate sources and extent of chlordane and PCB contamination, and develop a plan to remediate it.
Clean up trash and remove dumpsites.
Sweep up and reuse sand used for traction control in icy road conditions. Limit use of de-icing materials that impair water quality.
Provide incentives to developers to reduce the amount of impervious surface on developments. Make it easier for them get county approval to use improved LID technologies.
Require greater reductions in runoff from commercial and residential redevelopment sites, and in road widening projects.
Give the county the authority to inspect private stormwater control facilities, and to require property owners to maintain them.
Not waive water quality controls for non-bonded lots with more than 18% impervious surface.
Adopt green building approaches and landscaping with native plants and trees at all public facilities in the watershed.
Evaluate how the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance is enforced and applied, to determine if riparian buffers are being adequately preserved and protected.