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June 30, 2015
June 24, 2015
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June 16, 2015
Sandbar shark: the most common shark in the bay. It’s found in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil.
Bull shark: a close cousin to the sandbar shark, but more aggressive. Many shark attacks are attributed to the bull shark, which ventures as far north as the Patuxent River, although the Chesapeake Bay Program says it’s not considered a “significant threat” to human safety.
Sand tiger shark: a common visitor to the lower bay in summer and fall, most often feeding along the bottom of the estuary and active at night. With its jagged teeth and size, it looks dangerous, but there have been no recorded attacks on humans.
Smooth dogfish: a common to abundant visitor to the bay, especially the lower part and as far north as the Patuxent. They usually travel in schools.
Spiny dogfish: commonly found in the lower bay south of the Potomac River in late fall through early spring. Like the smooth dogfish, it travels in schools, but is a slower swimmer and inhabits deeper waters. It’s found in temperate coastal waters and in all the world’s oceans.
Less common or infrequent visitors to the bay include the basking shark, the bonnethead, the smooth hammerhead and the Atlantic angel shark.
June 15, 2015
So it is very fitting that seven Hampton Roads localities, in partnership with askHRgreen.org, are taking part this summer in a national Keep America Beautiful program to reduce the impact of cigarette butt litter in the region.
Focusing on the theme “Cigarette butts = litter,” the askHRgreen.org Cigarette Litter Prevention Program launched at these project sites, following a pre-scan of the areas to determine the extent of the cigarette litter.
“Cigarette butt litter has been documented as the most frequently littered item of waste in the United States, and Hampton Roads is no different,” said John Deuel, the project leader of the grant program. “In a pre-scan of the project sites, volunteers found 3,223 cigarette butts and plastic cigar tips. If this amount of cigarette butt litter is happening in just these seven locations, imagine how much litter we’re dealing with throughout the region.”
So participating city and county litter prevention employees and volunteers will roll out tactics and messaging at each project site to try to turn smokers’ behavior around. As part of the $12,500 grant, Keep America Beautiful has provided 35 new free-standing and wall mounted cigarette butt receptacles to be placed in strategic site locations, in addition to 4,000 hand-held pocket ashtraysand 1,000 portable auto ashtrays to be distributed to adult smokers.
Additional project resources were provided by askHRgreen.org with $5,000, raised from its 2014 Keep Hampton Roads Beautiful Golf Tournament. These funds contributed to new signage, guiding smokers to the receptacles, and educational materials, emphasizing the impact of cigarette butt litter, which will be distributed to smokers during times when the sites are at peak use.
Localities also have invited community members and local business and government representatives, who live near, maintain or use the sites, to advise on where to place the receptacles, when to distribute the ashtrays and the types of awareness techniques that might work best.
Cigarette filters are not biodegradable because they contain cellulose acetate, a form of plastic that will persist in the environment.
In late-August, campaign participants will conduct a follow-up scan at each project site to determine if cigarette butt litter has decreased and if so, by how much. A follow-up report will be presented in October to Hampton Roads government officials, and shared with business owners and property managers, as well as to those involved with the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan through the Virginia Coastal Zone Management program.
Communities that implement the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program consistently cut cigarette butt litter by half. The Hampton Roads campaign is unique in that it is being implemented simultaneously in multiple localities. Deuel says the national group is looking at the Hampton Roads project as a pilot program, whose results will be shared in a national report.
Amazingly. . .
• Recycling Butts? Yes You Can! TerraCycle, working with the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, turns cigarette waste into industrial products such as plastic pallets. They accept butts, filters, loose tobacco pouches, outer plastic packaging, inner foil packaging, rolling paper and ash. Collect the debris in a plastic bag and ship to the company for recycling. For every pound of waste collected, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company donates $1 toward the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Littler Prevention Program. Details at www.terracycle.com
June 14, 2015
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April 17, 2015
The James River Association, along with national, state and local partners, has been advocating for Dominion Virginia Power to study and pursue alternative solutions on where to place a transmission line, currently planned to span the James River near Jamestown.
As proposed, this power line would negatively impact scenic views and visitors’ experience of the Historic Triangle, which attracts an estimated 6 million visitors annually.
A key part of James River Association’s effort was joining James City County and Save the James Alliance to challenge the State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) approval of the transmission line project as it stands now.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Virginia released its decision and has overturned part of the SCC ruling, thereby requiring local zoning approval of certain aspects of the project.
The decision allows James City County to further review the project through its local zoning process. James City County now has the opportunity to ensure their concerns are addressed and will provide additional opportunities for the public to register their concerns as well.
This is an encouraging and positive step in the effort to avoid the impacts that the proposed transmission line will have on America’s Founding River and surrounding communities.