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Conservation Group Flies Charlottesville Mayor Over Rivanna River

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Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signor getting a bird's eye view of the Rivanna River. Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signor getting a bird's eye view of the Rivanna River.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer took to the skies Thursday to get a better idea of the issues facing the Rivanna River.

The Rivanna Conservation Alliance (RCA) is giving elected officials a bird’s eye view of the river they are trying to protect from pollution.

“When the rain comes, and washes the dirt off the land, what does it carry? Dirt, pesticides, fertilizer, trash," said RCA Executive Director Robbi Savage.

“That starts right in your own yard, with dog waste and fertilizers you put on your own lawn. All of that eventually does end up in the watershed,” said Jack Brown, head of the RCA Public Affairs Committee .

RCA says most of Charlottesville’s and Albemarle County’s tap water comes from the Rivanna River.

Brown was on Thursday’s flight with the mayor to point out water conditions below.

Signer said the trip impacted how he views potential policy options.

“When you're 2,000 feet up you see how the river fits into the bigger landscape and how development impacts it. They were really emphasizing some rules - that they would like to have more buffers along the stream - and I understand that better now, having seen it from a plane,” said the mayor.

The flight also passed over the Ragged Mountain Reservoir, which the Charlottesville City Council is considering opening up to recreation.

The Rivanna Conservation Alliance has a full schedule of earth day activities, including river clean-ups, in the next few weeks. Click here for more information.

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