Restoring Virginia's Wetlands


To help wetlands restoration in Virginia, Dominion is partnering with Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center. The Dominion Foundation grant has already led to a hands-on learning opportunity for
dozens of students and members of the local community who gathered at the center to learn how such projects are designed and implemented.

The center is located roughly 20 miles northeast of Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. It falls within the Upper James River Basin, in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and is administered through Virginia Tech.

“Most floodplains in the area were actually drained at some point, in a variety of different ways, said biological systems Professor W. Cully Hession. “We mapped out four possible restoration areas and will probably pick one or two of them for the fall. One of them is near a spur of the Appalachian Trail, and we’re leaning toward that because it would be highly visible.”

Adam Taylor, the sustainability center manager, said Dominion’s generosity will bring environmental benefits, such as controlling erosion and increasing the number of pollinating insects on the grounds. The gift also provides a valuable opportunity to educate the public, he said.

“We’re grateful to the Dominion Foundation for funding this project so that we can continue to educate the Virginia Tech community and our local community partners about the importance of environmental stewardship and sustainability in the Catawba Valley,” he said.

“Dominion is pleased to support Virginia Tech’s Catawba Sustainability Center in its initiative to restore local wetlands and create greater access and knowledge about endangered habitats through outdoor classrooms and workshops,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “We applaud the program’s hands-on approach to environmental stewardship.”