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MAKING A MARK: Nonprofit organization works to restore local waterway

The Back Bay Restoration Foundation was founded 33 years ago amidst concerns that the watershed was deteriorating.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — You may have heard of it but do you really know about the Back Bay?

"Back Bay is really part of the Currituck and Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds to the south," says Jared Brandwein, executive director of the Back Bay Restoration Foundation. "It's a freshwater watershed."

The Back Bay Restoration Foundation is a 33-year-old nonprofit working to rehabilitate and advocate for the watershed. 

"A lot of biologists determine the health of the bay by what's called 'submerged aquatic vegetation'... In the late '70s, biologists started noting the decline in submerged aquatic vegetation, or SAV's," says Brandwein. "BBRF was founded in the '80s amidst that concern that water quality was declining."

BBRF volunteers also speak for the wildlife impacted by the Back Bay. "In the wintertime, Back Bay holds approximately 10,000 ducks, geese, and swan," says Brandwein.

The Foundation's goal is to raise awareness of the watershed in an ever-changing city environment. "Back Bay is an aquatic resource of national importance," says Brandwein. "Its value, both in resource value, tourism dollars-- it's really an economic engine for Southeastern Virginia and Eastern Carolina."

For more information about the Back Bay Restoration Foundation, visit their website at https://backbayrestorationfoundation.com/ or their Facebook page.

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