JRA’s Watershed Restoration program showcases answers to watershed management issues facing the James River. Working with landowners and partnering organizations, JRA brings responsible Habitat Restoration and Land Conservation solutions free of charge to the landowner. For tips about what you can do at home, visit our Home/Landowners Resource Center.
Self-Directed Trash Cleanup Program
Are you tired of seeing trash in our streams, creeks, rivers, streets, alleyways, and parks? Well, we are too. As a result, we have come up with a program that allows you to direct your own trash cleanup even if it’s not on our calendar! The JRA’s Self-Directed Trash Cleanup Program allows individuals to choose the “who, where, and when” and we provide you with the necessary supplies including trash grabbers, gloves, bags, first aid kits, and a report sheet. This allows you greater flexibility to hold an event when it’s convenient for you, rather than trying to coordinate schedules with us. Sign up to volunteer.
River Hero Homes is a way to recognize homeowners who are successfully taking steps to improve water quality by reducing the amount of stormwater and pollution leaving their property. Becoming a River Hero Home is a simple way to help protect the James River. Depending on where you live, becoming a certified River Hero Home may also help you qualify for stormwater rebates or credits offered by your locality. For more infomation visit www.jamesriverhero.org
Pollution from stormwater runoff is the #1 health threat to our waterways. Every time it rains pollution washes off your property and starts its journey through the watershed to the James River. How much nitrogen and phosphorus pollution does your home contributes to the James River? Use the Runoff Calculator to find out.
JRA continues to work toward restoring, enhancing and/or establishing streamside buffers throughout the James River watershed. Healthy, vegetated buffers along a stream help remove pollutants that might otherwise flow directly into our waterways; buffers also provide important habitat for wildlife. Through the end of 2009, JRA along with our many valuable volunteers and partnering organizations, has planted over 42,000 native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants along more than 21 miles of shoreline. This equates to an area of more than 210 acres.
The most recent project includes a streambank stabilization project in Campbell County. This project was part of the Blackwater Creek Extreme Stream Makeover held in October 2009, and was funded in part by Altria, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Royal Bank of Canada.
The Extreme Stream Makeover (ESM) is a weeklong restoration project designed to improve the health, sustainability and aesthetic appeal of a selected stream within the James River watershed.
During the planning process, involved parties work together to promote watershed awareness and pollution control throughout the community. Partners assess the creek and surrounding watershed to identify and document existing and potential pollution problems. ESM project locations are selected based on the site assessment, feasibility, landowner permission and opportunity for water quality improvement.
Implementation is a week-long process that puts in place a series of rainwater runoff and pollution reduction measures as well as habitat restoration projects. Each day, approximately 100 volunteers from the community will participate in the restoration activities. Participants will remove trash, learn how to construct and install rain barrels, plant steamside buffers and build rain gardens. Every facet of the restoration project is accompanied by an education component – it is important that people not only learn how to do these projects, but that they also understand why they are doing them.
ESM also incorporates a series of lessons, designed to correlate with Virginia SOLs, for local students. Students will learn how and why selected projects can improve local creeks, the James River and beyond.
In spring 2006 JRA teamed up with Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech in an effort to protect and conserve water quality through the evaluation of local development codes and ordinances. Forty-two counties and 14 cities within the James River watershed were analyzed using the Code and Ordinance Worksheet (COW) developed by the Center for Watershed Protection.
Click here for local government scores and additional information.
A 1,825 linear foot granite sill has been established along the shoreline of Ducking Stool Point in Charles City County. This sill allows for the protection of over 500 acres of tidal freshwater wetlands on Herring Creek. This marsh is an important spawning and nursery area for migratory fish, blueback herring, alewife, and hickory shad. It is also an important feeding and nesting area for bald eagles, wading birds and waterfowl.
The project was conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Cooperative Conservation Initiative, Vulcan Materials Company, and Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership.
JRA supports land conservation throughout the James River watershed through educational programs and by advocating for land conservation funding. We hold over 1,900 acres in conservation easements, either in partnership with other land trusts or on our own.
JRA, in partnership with the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP), has conducted a vulnerability analysis of James River sub-watersheds to identify which watersheds contribute the most sediment to the James River from stormwater runoff. The project evaluates existing information for sub-watersheds and identifies priority watersheds for protection. JRA will prioritize subsequent watershed projects based on existing conservation areas, water quality impairments, soil erodibility, land use and Chesapeake Bay Program nutrient and sediment loading estimates used in the analysis. For each sub-watershed, planning goals and tools have been suggested by CWP based on expected current land use and water quality issues and expected future issues related to growth pressure.
Download the full report, James River Vulnerability Analysis (PDF, 7.2 mb)