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Mountain Run Dam, Virginia

Watershed Programs | Virginia


The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention (WFPO) Program helps units of federal, state, local and federally recognized tribal  governments (project sponsors) protect and restore watersheds.

Watershed Programs in Virginia

Virginia NRCS offers various water resource programs to help local partners protect communities from damage caused by floodwaters, erosion and sediment deposition. We also help them to conserve and develop their land and water resources before and after major storm events to address natural resource and related economic problems on a watershed basis.

Technical and financial assistance provided to project sponsors and local residents through these programs strengthens partnerships across all relevant federal, state and local agencies and Indian tribes as well as citizen groups.

Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention

Virginia has completed two projects through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program, which helps units of federal, state, local and tribal government (project sponsors) protect and restore watersheds as large as 250,000 acres. Federal government, states and their political subdivisions work together on these initiatives to prevent erosion and floodwater and sediment damage as well as to further the conservation development, use and disposal of water and proper use of land in authorized watersheds.

Project Fact Sheets

Watershed Rehabilitation Program

In Virginia, 150 dams have become part of the state’s landscape/infrastructure through the PL-566, PL-534 and Pilot Watershed programs. The dams were built to protect agricultural lands and small communities from the devastating effects of flooding. Many have also provided local water supplies and community recreational opportunities, and all have enhanced our aquatic resources through improved water quality and fish and wildlife habitat.

However, residential and commercial development have created human health and safety concerns for those living in the downstream floodplains of several Virginia NRCS-assisted dams. The Watershed Rehabilitation Program helps project sponsors rehabilitate aging dams that are reaching the end of their design lives and address these concerns. Supplemental Watershed Plans – Environmental Assessments for dam rehabilitation have been completed for 16 Virginia dams:

  • Marrowbone Creek in Henry County
  • Inch Branch, Robinson Hollow, Toms Branch, Mills Creek, Todd Lake and Hearthstone Lake in Augusta County
  • Royal Lake, Lake Barton, Woodglen Lake, and Huntsman Lake in Fairfax County
  • Mountain Run Lake and Lake Pelham in Culpeper County
  • McDaniel Lake in Craig County
  • Cherrystone Lake and Roaring Fork Lake in Pittsylvania County.

Since 2005, construction has been completed on 13 of those dams:

  • Marrowbone Creek
  • Inch Branch
  • Robinson Hollow
  • Toms Branch, Mills Creek
  • Todd Lake
  • Royal Lake
  • Lake Barton
  • Woodglen Lake
  • Huntsman Lake
  • Mountain Run Lake
  • Lake Pelham
  • Hearthstone Lake

The designs for Cherrystone Lake and Roaring Fork Lake will be completed in 2024 and a Supplemental Watershed Plan – Environmental Assessment for Beaver Creek Lake dam rehabilitation in Albemarle County should be completed in late 2022.

Water Resources Progress Report

This progress report provides information on the status of various NRCS water resources programs in Virginia. It provides some basic inventory data for the state, the history of water resource development in Virginia, an inventory of completed dams, current status of active/operational projects and maps and professional papers in the appendices. Watershed protection and flood prevention projects, dam rehabilitation projects, river basin studies, floodplain management studies and emergency watershed protection projects are included under these programs. Download the report for viewing by clicking the link below.


Watershed Rehabilitation Plans

Dam Rehabilitation Project Fact Sheets


Virginia Hydrologic Unit Maps

Visit the Department of Conservation & Recreation's website to learn more about hydrologic unit maps.     

State Contact

Mat Lyons, State Conservation Engineer
Phone: (804) 287-1653 | Email:

WFPO Resources

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Find Your Local Service Center

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How to Get Assistance

Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?

Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.

how to get started

To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.

NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.

We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:

  • To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
  • To meet other eligibility certifications.

Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.

Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.

As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:

  • An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
  • A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
  • A farm number.

If you don’t have a farm number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm number if you’re interested in financial assistance.

NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants. View Application Ranking Dates by State.

If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.

Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.