Case Study: Bayville Golf Club, Virginia BMP Program
Identifying the issue
The Chesapeake Bay is an environmentally sensitive area that is prone to high amounts of sediment runoff due to its location in a heavily populated area. Soil erosion from the surrounding rivers and streams has caused excessive nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the bay area, which in turn has increased scrutiny and environmental regulatory action concerning the bay. GCSAA member Cutler Robinson, CGCS, director of golf course operations at Bayville Golf Club in Virginia Beach, Va., knew his facility needed to be proactive in facing the challenges of being near the Chesapeake Bay.
Planning a resolution
Bayville GC contains more than a mile of tidal coastline within the Chesapeake Bay and needs to be managed with pollution prevention and regulatory restrictions in mind. Robinson served on the committee that created “Environmental Best Management Practices for Virginia Golf Courses.” Robinson then used the Virginia BMPs to create a BMP plan specific to Bayville GC. Focusing on the issues that Bayville was facing, Robinson narrowed down the most important BMPs available to solve their problems.
Robinson focused on the sections of the Virginia manual that would prevent nutrients from running off into near-by water bodies -- nutrient management, irrigation and water quality monitoring. Bayville implemented a sedimentation prevention plan and created buffer zones around those particular water bodies that consisted of native and naturalized areas. At Bayville GC, water drains into on-site holding ponds to prevent nutrients and sedimentation from dispersing into the Chesapeake Bay. These steps show regulators that Bayville Golf Club is being proactive in securing the health of their course along with the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
Evaluation of results
As a result of creating naturalized areas to filter chemicals and protect the Chesapeake Bay, Bayville has seen significant cost savings from the reduced use of fertilizers, pesticides, fuel, and labor while also benefiting the environment. Robinson speaks to superintendents and others in his region to educate the community about how using programs such as the Virginia BMPs helps the community while preserving and growing the game of golf.