Environmental Care

The natural beauty of Caroline County is one of its most featured and valuable resources. As such, caring for the environment is a top priority. There is no shortage of work in this regard, ranging from trash pickup, to managing the effects of climate change, to preventing the negative effects of erosion and uncontrolled storm water run-off. Ensuring proper environmental care throughout Caroline requires an on-going, community-wide effort. We encourage and welcome your participation in keeping Caroline’s environment clean, safe, and sustainable!

Soil Conservation and Erosion Control

The Hanover-Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District's priorities are to encourage implementation of soil and water conservation practices, to provide educational programs on soil and water conservation, and to communicate and maintain active relationships with cooperating agencies. More information can be found at: www.virginialandcan.org

Chesapeake Bay Protection

The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act is intended to protect and improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and other state waters by minimizing the effects of human activity upon these waters. It provides for the definition and protection of certain lands called Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas, which if improperly used may result in substantial damage to the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas consist of a Resource Protection Area and a Resource Management Area.

Resource Protection Area (RPA) 

A Resource Protection Area is comprised of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area lands adjacent to water bodies with perennial flow that have an intrinsic water quality value due to the ecological and biological processes they perform or are sensitive to impacts which may result in significant degradation to the quality of state waters. In their natural condition, these lands provide for the removal, reduction or assimilation of sediments, nutrients and potentially harmful or toxic substances in runoff entering the bay and its tributaries, and minimize the adverse effects of human activities on state waters and aquatic resources. Resource Protection Areas include:

  • Tidal wetlands; 
  • Nontidal wetlands connected by surface flow and contiguous to tidal wetlands or water bodies with perennial flow; 
  • Tidal shores; 
  • Other lands considered necessary to protect the quality of state waters; and
  • A buffer area not less than 100 feet in width located adjacent to and landward of the components in the RPA, and along both sides of any water body with perennial flow. 

Resource Management Area (RMA) 

A Resource Management Area shall include land types that, if improperly used or developed, have a potential for causing significant water quality degradation or for diminishing the functional value of the Resource Protection Area. The RMA is contiguous to the entire inland boundary of the Resource Protection Area and includes the following categories of land: 

  • Floodplains; 
  • Highly erodible soils, including steep slopes; 
  • Highly permeable soils; 
  • Non-tidal wetlands not included in the Resources Protection area; and 
  • Other lands considered necessary to protect the quality of state waters

How Can You Help?

  • Reduce the purchase and consumption of materials ‘stuff’ that does not positively impact our lives.
  • Re-use and re-home what we can versus sending it to be disposed in a landfill.
  • Recycle materials like cardboard, paper, metals, and plastics in county recycling containers.
  • Access various programs and incentives for Solar Panels, Electric Vehicles, and Energy Efficient Upgrades through Rappahannock Electric Coop’s Vividly Brighter Program.
  • Reduce motor emissions by car-pooling when possible, ensuring your vehicle is in good operating condition, and not carrying around extra or unnecessary weight in your vehicle.
  • Save energy and money at home and at work with tips from REC. As an addition to the link, you can also air dry your clothes to cut down on dryer usage.
  • Reduce plastic waste by declining plastic straws, utensils, re-using plastic containers and bags and other types of plastic waste.
  • Keep the community clean by not littering, adopting a highway, participating in or reporting community clean ups, and/or getting involved in Chesapeake Bay Watershed Clean-Up efforts.
  • Volunteer for stream and river clean-up projects that are conducted during warm months.
  • Try to live a sustainable lifestyle where you make smart, long-term purchases, economically friendly cleaning products, and energy conservation.
  • Promote sustainability by donating to and shopping at thrift/second-hand stores.
  • Support political candidates who support and bring forward practical, sustainable measures to help the environment.
  • Conserve water and reduce plastic, yard, and food waste by starting a garden, supporting local farmers, building or purchasing a rain barrel, and/or starting a compost heap.
  • Preserve environmental health by supporting and electing congressional candidates who endorse eco-conscious policies.
  • Increase usable recyclables/further reduce plastic waste by purchasing products primarily in glass or aluminum containers (sodas for example) and/or filtering/drinking tap water at home instead of purchasing bottled water.
  • Improve physical health and help decrease methane emissions by eating less red meat.
  • Stay updated on environmental issues affecting the community by signing up for board of supervisors/committee email updates, watching meetings on the county YouTube channel, knowing who your district representative is, and/or getting involved in a local environmental organization.
  • Learn the ins and outs of proper recycling by reading the County Recycling Guide.
  • Build your knowledge on various environmental topics, their potential impacts, and how to best prepare for them. There are tons of resources to choose from but the Environmental Protection Agency, VA Department of Environmental Quality, and American Red Cross websites are great starting points.