Rivanna River Advocates Deal with Dwindling Funds - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Rivanna River Advocates Deal with Dwindling Funds

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A lack of state and federal funding could be bad news for the Rivanna River.

The Rivanna River Basin Commission (RRBC) is getting fewer grants than in years past, and members say the well is running dry.

The chairman of the commission, Marvin Moss, says without the same amount of federal grants, there will have to be some major restructuring. The changes are unfortunate for the commission and could be even more unfortunate for the river.

The RRBC is looking at ways to cut back on expenses, even if that means cutting its small staff of three and ditching its Charlottesville office.

The commission was created by the General Assembly in 2004 and funded by several large state and federal grants. Moss says the commission is seeing fewer grants now, which could ultimately affect the river.

"If the commission could remain as active as it is now with a staff as superb, I think there's no question that the river would benefit from it," Moss said.

Moss says one option is partnering up with sister organizations such as the Rivanna Conservation Society. Sharing a building is one idea.

"We've had a great partnership with RRBC. We work closely with them on a number of projects quite recently so as they go through their current changes we anticipate being partners with them in the future," said Jack Brown, chairman of the Rivanna Conservation Society.

Moss says state and federal grants are more often being given to organizations that play a role in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

He says, although the RRBC and the Rivanna Conservation Society have different roles in protecting the river, the goal remains the same.

"No matter where we come out on this, the most important thing is the quality of the water that flows down the Rivanna River and all of us agree on that," Moss said.

Moss says he and a group of people have just started a new organization called the Rivanna River Basin Foundation, a private nonprofit whose goal is to support the RRBC.

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