September 24, 2016

James River is not a dumping ground

But Virginia's State Water Control Board does not mind wastewater from Dominion's Chesterfield Power Station's coal ash being discharged into the James about 15 miles south of Richmond. It recently approved a permit to do so in spite of the James River Association and other environmentalists who had major concerns about that process. 

Earlier this week the Virginia Health Department issued a warning for the lower James River because a toxic Alexandrium monilatum algae continues to thrive there. Larval oysters and fish are not happy coexisting with this nasty algae. So swimmers might want to beware as well.

More assaults on this historic river are expected. 

September 15, 2016

Chesapeake Bay in the news again

This is my first posting in three months because 1) I have been traveling a lot and 2) there has been very little news, good or bad, about the Bay in recent months. Maybe an algae bloom here or a closed beach warning there, but nothing of substance.

But now the Bay will benefit from $11.5 million worth of projects in coming months. Most of that will come from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Chesapeake Bay Stewarship Fund. And the Bay definitely needs stewards to oversee progress in reducing the ongoing pollution that threatens this humongous estuary.

I wish that more of these funds went into the actual infrastructure--living shorelines, retention ponds, storm water treatment, fences to keep livestock out of creeks, etc.-- and not into salaries and administration. But grants are what keep a lot of folks employed. 

Will the Chesapeake Bay will ever return to a state near what John Smith saw? Most likely not, but that does not mean we should not try.