Friends of the Occoquan is a non-profit organization of local citizens who preserve and maintain the natural integrity of the Occoquan River and other Virginia watersheds by promoting community awareness through public and private partnerships.
Vision of the Friends
To energize individuals, community and business groups to take on the challenge of keeping Northern Virginia’s Reservoirs clean, by controlling excessive sedimentation and pollution. This message will be brought to schools, civic groups and community organizations, as well as local and federal government agencies.
Coordinate watershed management efforts and programs.
Open communications and develop cooperation among intergovernmental jurisdictions regarding the watersheds.
Provide decision makers, policy makers, and citizens with accurate information.
Develop public and private partnerships focused on maintaining the natural integrity of drinking water sources.
Engage the community, including the Spanish speaking population, to become stakeholders of our rivers and streams.
Education and Coordination FOTO is working with community groups, schools, state and local governments to promote Northern Virginia's watershed preservation.
FOTO continues to expand contacts with other groups to enlarge watershed stakeholders. Installation of international signs along the watershed is one of our projects.
FOTO is proceeding to engage the Spanish speaking community of Northern Virginia to become stakeholders of our watersheds and become active in maintaining clean and safe our rivers. In addition to the bilingual signs described below, we will be installing other bilingual signs in Fairfax and PrinceWilliamCounties. Also we are preparing videos, literature and some TV programs.
Spring 2015 Clean-Up Saturday, April 18th .....Details Coming Soon!
Rain Barrel Workshop at Independent Hill School in Manassas
FOTO held a rain barrel hands-on workshop at Independent Hill School in Manassas. This environmentally progressive school has a very impressive recycling program and an on-site commercial greenhouse.
Sonia Monson talked about the 9,000-mile trip that the barrels traveled from India to North Carolina, where they were used by the Mount Olive Pickling Company. These same food-grade barrels are safe to use in collecting rainwater.
Afterwards, enthusiastic students under the guidance of FOTO’s instructors Helga Perrin and Sonia Monson assembled the faucet and overflow, crawling into the barrels to fasten the plumbing.
Several educators, including Coordinator Lorri Jones, Principal Jodi Pankowski, and Vocational teacher Eastern Gault were present during the demonstration.
The event was video-taped by Prince William County Public Schools.
Upcoming Rain Barrel Workshop February 27th Brentsville District High School
FOTO will donate a black rain barrel and conduct a workshop on February 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM at Brentsville District Highschool in Nokesville, VA. Students can apply their own design to the barrels.
Exotic Snakehead Fish Discussion
Exotic Snakehead Fish Is Focus of February 22 Meeting
John Odenkirk will explore the non-native northern snakehead fish, its characteristics, potential impacts and future at a meeting on Sunday, February 22, at 2 p.m.The snakehead fish has been seen in the Potomac and Occoquan Rivers, Dyke Marsh, Huntley Meadows Park, Hunting Creek, Little Hunting Creek, Dogue Creek and other northern Virginia waterways.Virginia scientists have been studying it since 2004.Odenkirk is a fish biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Hosting the meeting are the Friends of Dyke Marsh, the Northern Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Assawoman Fishing Unlimited Club, the Friends of Accotink Creek, Friends of the Occoquan and the Friends of Little Hunting Creek.
In case of inclement weather on February 22, please check www.fodm.org and the Friends of Dyke Marsh on Facebook for updates.
October 2014 FOTO Cleanup in the Town of Occoquan and at Bull Run Marina
Spectacular weather brought out 56 volunteers to the Town of Occoquan and Duane DeBruyne and the Lake Braddock Crew to the Bull Run Marina.
American Water Company, Boy Scout Troop 1369 and their leaders, the Go-Green Club and other environmental conscious volunteers with children picked up 45 large bags of debris including five bags of recyclables, a real-estate sign and a large tubing frame at the Town of Occoquan.
The Lake Braddock Crew removed a 12-foot-long aluminum loading ramp, the kind that comes with a U-Haul rental truck, three large plastic toys (car for a child, a swing-seat, and a large sandbox cover in the shape of a turtle shell). One plastic 55-gallon barrel, two five-gallon buckets, and miscellaneous boards with exposed nails, two large garbage bags of recyclables such as bottles and cans, three plastic chairs and other odds and ends.
Refreshments were provided by FOTO and Kirstyn Jovanovich, Town Manager. Thank you to Miriam Vanegas Barcenas for the photographs and video. A GREAT BIG THANKS to all of our volunteers!
How to get your Friend of the Occoquan License Plate
Good afternoon friend of the Occoquan River:
The Occoquan River Communities (ORC) is undertaking an effort to create a Friend of the Occoquan State of VA License Plate.
ORC is required to sell 450 plates prior to the end of 2014. If they can achieve this number then VA DMV will sell the plate at every DMV office in the state of VA. In addition $10 from every plate sold will go to Friends of the Occoquan (FOTO) to support their efforts to protect and conserve the Occoquan River.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We need you to help promote this effort with you organization(s), friends and family. We can provide informational brochures and even try to have an ORC member speak at your meeting. We are under the gun, so time is of the essence.
If you feel you can help please contact me by email and we will go from there.
Thanks in advance for your support!
John J. Houser
Occoquan Regional Park
9751 Ox Road
Lorton, VA 22079
Office: 703-690-2121 Cell: 571-329-1542
Make a Contribution or Donation:
Please send a check or money order payable to FOTO to the address below:
or pay with credit card using paypal by clicking the link below:
Friends of the Occoquan P.O. Box 1452 Woodbridge, VA 22195-1452 Tel. (703)624-7124