The Rivanna River is a 42.1-mile-long (67.8 km) tributary of the James River in central Virginia in the United States. The Rivanna's tributaries originate in the Blue Ridge Mountains; via the James River, it is part of the watershed of Chesapeake Bay.According to the Geographic Names Information System, the Rivanna has also been known as "Mountain Falls Creek" and "River Anna".
The Rivanna River is formed in Albemarle County about 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Charlottesville by the confluence of two tributaries:
- The North Fork Rivanna River is formed in southwestern Greene County by the confluence of the Lynch River and the Roach River, and flows 18.0 miles (29.0 km) southeast by south into Albemarle County.
- The South Fork Rivanna River is formed in Albemarle County by the confluence of the Moormans River and the Mechums River, and flows 12.9 miles (20.8 km) generally eastwardly.
Below this confluence, the Rivanna flows southeast through Albemarle County, skirting the eastern edge of Charlottesville and breaching the Southwest Mountains near Monticello
.The Rivanna continues southeast through Fluvanna County
, passing the communities of Lake Monticello and Palmyra
; it enters the James River at the town of Columbia.
Management and conservation:
The Rivanna River is the focus of considerable conservation efforts. In 1990 a group of citizens interested in preserving the Rivanna’s scenic, cultural, historic and ecological attributes founded the Rivanna Conservation Society. In the late 1990s the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission convened an EPA-funded multi-stakeholder conservation planning effort, and in 1998 this Rivanna River Roundtable published its State of the Basin report identifying key management and conservation needs.
In 2001 The Nature Conservancy, noting its many endemic and rare species including the endangered James River spinymussel, identified the Rivanna basin as “one of the finest remaining freshwater river and stream systems in the Piedmont.”
In 2002 a community-based monitoring program called StreamWatch was founded and began intensive data collection at permanent stream monitoring sites throughout the watershed. In 2006 The Nature Conservancy raised funds and approached local governments to successfully facilitate the establishment of the Rivanna River Basin Commission, a multi-jurisdictional body composed of local elected officials, Soil and Water Conservation District representatives, and citizens.