Updates

Friday, December 5, 2014 - 12:47pm
If you have been following the news headlines, then you have probably noticed that climate and energy policy along with other environmental issues are front and center among political tensions.  
 
While our donor base is equally represented by both major political parties (a fact that makes us proud!), we did get nervous when we learned that the same political party responsible for over 300 anti-environmental pieces of legislation just gained control of the second chamber of Congress. Over the past several years, most “anti-clean water”...
Friday, December 5, 2014 - 12:45pm
In our Summer 2014 edition of River Watch, we wrote about the threats posed by stormwater in the Potomac Watershed and our efforts to strengthen stormwater general permits throughout the region. In the Upper Potomac, the pollution caused by industrial stormwater is a particularly major concern. Many believe that because the Upper Potomac watershed is very rural, stormwater pollution is less of a concern than in areas of the watershed with more urban development. This is simply not the case. 
 
Together, we are driving for better industrial stormwater...
Friday, December 5, 2014 - 12:43pm
In January, the effects of the November 4 election will begin to be felt in our region. While some of the Potomac watershed states remain relatively unaffected, river advocates should brace themselves for attacks on protections for clean water coming out of Annapolis and Capitol Hill. 
 
In his campaign, Maryland governor elect Larry Hogan pushed the idea that Maryland residents are being overtaxed. His poster child for absurd taxes? The so-called “rain tax,” which Hogan promised he would repeal if he won. (O’Malley was so tax-happy,...
Friday, December 5, 2014 - 12:41pm
Millions of livestock animals are raised in the Shenandoah Valley, a region that by most standards is the breadbasket of Virginia. Agriculture has intensified over the past 40 years, as landowners work to produce more with their limited acreage and to out-strip the drop in commodity prices. The result? The confinement of animals in what are known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). CAFOs allow farmers to house, feed, and care for large numbers of animals as economically as possible in order to meet increasing demand. 
 
Along with the...
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 4:15pm
Local Conservation Groups Support U.S. Forest Service Decision to Keep GW National Forest Lands Off Limits to Gas Drilling and Fracking
 
Charlottesville, VA – Local conservation and community groups expressed support for today’s decision from the U.S. Forest Service to make the George Washington National Forest (GW) unavailable for oil and gas drilling, except for a small portion of the forest already under gas lease or subject to private mineral rights.
The long-...
Friday, November 14, 2014 - 3:22pm
*from our River Watch Fall 2015 Edition
 
Following two high-profile coal ash pond spills, one in Tennessee in 2008 and recently on the Dan River of North Carolina, water advocates are alarmed at the imminent harm these coal ash disposal facilities pose to our rivers and streams. 
 
Coal ash ponds are unlined or clay-lined man-made ponds used to store ashes from burning coal in coal-fired power plants. These open ponds collect rainwater, creating a toxic sludge of water, coal ash, and heavy metals such as arsenic, barium...
Friday, November 14, 2014 - 3:20pm
You see it, you smell it, and you hate it. 
“Rock snot”, as many of our members 
call it, is among the 
 
top 3 complaints we receive. 
 
Trying to understand this issue? Picture this: it’s finally the weekend, the weather is perfect, and you head down to the beach to kick back and relax for the day. Just when you thought you were finally catching a break you show up at the beach to see those long piles of seaweed (marine algae) piled up in multiple rows at the high tide line...
Friday, November 14, 2014 - 3:17pm
*from our River Watch Summer Edition
 
Who wants to share their swimming or fishing hole with a herd of cows?
 
In our last newsletter, we introduced you to our “Get The Cattle Out Campaign,” in which Shenandoah Riverkeeper identified and documented every single place that cattle have access to and wallow in the North Fork, South Fork and Main Stem Shenandoah.  Our first step in that campaign was to send letters to owners of each of the 73 herds we found, or the land that they graze on, notifying them of the...
Friday, November 14, 2014 - 3:13pm
*from our River Watch Spring 2014 Edition
 
Over the years, Shenandoah and Potomac Riverkeeper have received numerous complaints from its members and the public about cattle in the Shenandoah River. 
 
Shenandoah Riverkeeper identified 73 herds with direct access to the North Fork, South Fork, and mainstem Shenandoah River. A seemingly harmless or even healthy activity for the animals, cattle access causes tremendous damage to river banks and overall river health. It also poses a health risk to recreational users. When...
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 1:10pm

 

We are not ashamed to admit we have temporarily failed to get official recognition of the Shenandoah River's algae issues because we have just gotten started with this issue.
In a two step process we could have either achieved recognition by Virginia or by EPA which oversees Virginia's impaired listing process. Virginia and EPA both...
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