The James River Association, which is headquartered in Richmond, won a 2011 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for its “Extreme Stream Makeover” initiative, which was carried out with the help of volunteers throughout the watershed of the James River. Continue reading
Richmond Times-Dispatch outdoors columnist Andy Thompson caught up with some experts to find out more about the Atlantic sturgeon population on the James River and how the man-made spawning beds established two years ago have impacted the numbers: Continue reading
James River Association and its James Riverkeepers are recruiting the James River’s first line of citizen defense, the RiverRats. This program engages volunteers to patrol the James and its tributaries and to take action to protect and restore the entire watershed. Whether walking a neighborhood stream, kayaking a local river, or boating the wide reaches of the lower James, JRA RiverRats will document potential pollution sources and their effects while also reporting natural patterns in river hydrology and wildlife sightings. A scientific background is not required. Training and equipment will be provided.
RiverRats will be proactive in protecting their river by committing to action projects in their communities. By helping JRA keep watch over our waterways and inspiring their neighbors to choose clean water, RiverRats will play a vital role in protecting and restoring America’s Founding River. APPLY with this RiverRats Brochure (pdf)
Saturday, February 12, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Training for JRA’s RiverRats program, to be held at the Walker Assembly Room at Roslyn located at 8727 River Road, Richmond, VA 23229. *This is a change*
Many people spend Thanksgiving weekend raking leaves together during family and friend gatherings — strength in numbers. If you’d like to be friendly to the earth, take some conservation tips from the James River Association:
This fall, choose to capture all the carbon and nutrients in those leaves to do good work on your property. By retaining and composting leaves yourself, you ensure that the leaves don’t go down a storm sewer or become part of the waste stream. Plus you get to keep just what your landscape and garden needs.
Need more advice leaf mulching and composting? Check the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Teachers are invited to an introductory workshop Thursday, Nov. 11, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, with the James River Association to learn about the current state of the James River. Determine which natural resources are being affected by pollution and what it will take to protect the future of America’s Founding River. Watershed, ecological and historical issues will be the focus of this one day, indoor-outdoor professional development session. Canoe trip included.
Teachers will learn the following:
- Current water quality issues of the James River
- Which specific wildlife species are being majorly affected by pollution in the James
- Restoration and protection actions that are making positive improvements in water health
- Activities that will increase your students’ comprehension of watershed issues
Rough Outline of the Day:
8:30 am – 12:00 pm: Indoor background information and lessons
12:00 – 1:00 pm: Lunch break
1:00 – 4:00 pm: Canoe trip learning history and ecology of the James
Be Prepared: Participants must bring their own sack lunch. Dress for indoor and outdoor activities, rain or shine.
- Copies of presentations, lessons and activities.
- Background information resources.
- Water Quality testing kits.
To Participate: Cost is $30 per person. Call (804) 788-8811 ext 214 to learn more about this program and to register. Deadline for registration is October 29.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s outdoors writer, Andy Thompson, produced a column Friday declaring Virginia might have to get tough to protect James. It included discussion of recent commentary from Bill Street, executive director of the James River Association, and W. Tayloe Murphy Jr., of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which James River News Hub posted previously. Here is tidbit from Thompson:
For at least a quarter century, Virginia and other bay states have played chicken with the federal government – and won. They’ve called the feds’ bluff, betting they wouldn’t use the authority granted by the Clean Water Act of 1972 to enforce cleanup plans the states paid little more than lip service to.
Well, now the feds seem serious, threatening states’ permit-issuing capacity for things such as wastewater treatment plants, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and residential developments.
“Everyone acknowledges it’s not the best way to accomplish the goals [of cleaning up the bay],” said Bill Street. “But if [the EPA is] left with no choice, then they are compelled by the Clean Water Act to do that.”
Bill Street, executive director of the James River Association, wrote an editorial in Sunday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch about protecting the James River and Chesapeake Bay from pollution:
Disappointingly, Virginia’s recently released draft cleanup plan misses the mark for the James River. While it strives to meet the pollution limits set for every other part of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay, it proposes to do only 60 percent of the job for the James River. Instead, the commonwealth wants to change the definition of what “clean” means — but only for the James.
In other words, rather than putting in place a plan that would require concrete action to improve water quality, the state is planning to revise the rules so that more pollution can continue to be discharged into our river.
W. Tayloe Murphy Jr. also declared in the Times-Dispatch that the Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforst are still plagued by “free lunches” to polluters:
I urge Bay state leaders to stop handing out “free lunches” to the polluters and hold them accountable by supporting the Chesapeake Clean Water Act. A truly restored Chesapeake Bay will redound to everyone’s benefit, boosting jobs, the economy, and quality of life. Twenty-five years hence, let us not be recycling old speeches; let us instead be celebrating a clean Bay.
Those concerned about a healthy James River should let their voices be heard by submitting their comments by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by attending the public comment meeting Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Robins Pavilion Jepson Alumni Center, University of Richmond, 28 Westhampton Way.