On Virginia Water Radio for 5-25-15: The Origin of Memorial Day

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, Episode 267, 5-25-15, is “Memorial Day’s Origin, from a Potomac River Perspective.”  The 4 min./5 sec. episode looks at the Civil War origins of Memorial Day, including some symbolic and actual roles of the Potomac River in leading to this national holiday.

Potomac-Shenandoah from Jefferson Rock in Harpers Ferry Aug14 08

Looking towards the confluence of the Shenandoah River and Potomac River at Harper’s Ferry, West Va., August 2008.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen!

Recreational Water and Beach Safety Information Sources from the Virginia Water Monitoring Council, 5/21/15

The following list of resources on recreational water use and safety was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC) on May 21, 2015.   The VWMC announcement was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Virginia Department of Health as a grant to the VWMCPlease feel free to forward this information.  When forwarding, please acknowledge the VWMC.   For more information about the VWMC, please visit http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.

Healthy and Safe Swimming WeekMay 18-24, 2015
This year’s theme is “Make a Healthy Splash: Share the Fun, not the Germs.” — This week focuses on simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience, and on prevention of drowning, pool chemical injuries, and outbreaks of illnesses.  It highlights swimmer hygiene and the need for swimmers to take an active role in helping to protect themselves and prevent the spread of germs.  The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site has promotion materials (videos, podcasts, posters, fact sheets, mobile apps, etc.) to educate the public; online at http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/observances/hss-week/index.htmlThe Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is also promoting Healthy and Safe Swimming Week; information is available online at www.vdh.virginia.gov/hssw.  A statewide press release, issued 5/18/15, is available online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/PressReleases/2015/051815HSSW.htm.

Beach Monitoring in Virginia
Bacteria levels in beach water are monitored at 46 public beaches on the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean of Virginia during the swimming season (May-September). When bacteria levels exceed safe levels, VDH issues swimming advisories to inform the public of health risks from other disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites.  Beach monitoring results are available at  www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/BeachMonitoring/beachadvisories/.  You can also Follow VDH’s Beach Monitoring Program on Twitter (@VDHBeach) to receive weekly results and swimming advisories: https://twitter.com/VDHBeach.

For links to information about current swimming advisories and monitored beaches, beach advisory and monitoring data, links to local beaches, local health department contacts, and special projects, please visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/BeachMonitoring/.

“Beaches and Bacteria”
This article was updated in January 2014 and is available at https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/beaches-and-bacteria-january-2014-update-of-an-august-2004-virginia-water-central-article/.  It was first published by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Virginia Water Central (August 2004).  The article describes the following:

  • The difference between a beach advisory and a beach closure
  • The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act
  • The types of indicator organisms monitored at Virginia’s beaches
  • Virginia’s bacteria standards
  • Microbial Source Tracking

“Safely Enjoying Virginia’s Natural Waters”
This brochure, published by the Virginia Department of Health, covers topics such as the following:

  • What organisms are in natural waters and where do they come from?
  • What are the health risks and how are they determined?
  • Why avoid natural water after a heavy rain?
  • What you can do to protect yourself.

Available (as PDF) online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/BeachMonitoring/ (also available in Spanish).


1889 Rainstorm-caused Train Wreck Tragically Linking Bedford County, Va., with Cleveland, Tenn., Commemorated in New Virginia Historical Marker, Unveiled May 19, 2015

On May 19, 2015, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources unveiled a new marker commemorating the July 2, 1889, rainstorm-caused train wreck near the Bedford County, Va., town of Thaxton, that killed at least 18 people, including three prominent citizens of Cleveland, Tennessee.

A new sign marks site of 1889 train wreck in Thaxton, by columnist Dan Casey, Roanoke Times, 5/21/15, looks back at the event and reports on the marker-unveiling ceremony.  The wreck resulted from heavy rain that swelled normally small Wolf Creek and washed out a railroad embankment. The accident had a major impact on Cleveland, which soon afterwards erected a monument to its lost citizens.  The Tennessee city played a prominent role in the Virginia marker, too: the Allan Jones Foundation of Cleveland financed the cost of the marker, paid for a catered lunch for the unveiling ceremony, and charterd a bus to bring several Cleveland citizens to the ceremony, including Allan Jones and Cleveland’s current mayor.

What to Do If You Find a Fawn or Other Young Wildlife, According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ May 1, 2015, News Release

Following are the hyperlinked headline and an excerpt from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ (VDGIF) May 1, 2015, news release on what they recommend for citizen who find young deer or other wildlife.  Other news releases from VDGIF are available online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/news/.

If You Find a Fawn, Leave it Alone, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries News Release, 5/1/15.

It’s that time of year again when white-tailed deer fawns are showing up in yards and hayfields, and concerned citizens want to know how to help. In almost all cases, the best way to help is to simply give the fawn space and leave it alone. Concerned people sometimes pick up animals that they think are orphaned.

… Most wild animals will not abandon their young, but they do leave them alone for long periods of time while looking for food. Fawns, born from April through July, are purposely left alone by their mothers. Female deer, called does, stay away from the fawns to avoid leading predators such as dogs or coyotes to their location.  The white-spotted coat camouflages a fawn as it lies motionless in vegetation.  Does will return several times each day to move and/or feed their young.  You probably will not see the doe at all since she only stays to feed the fawn for just a very few minutes before leaving it alone again.  If less than 24 hours have passed since a fawn has been “rescued,” the fawn should be taken back and released at the exact same location where it was found.  If a wild animal has been injured or truly orphaned, do not take matters into your own hands. You may locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator by calling the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ (VDGIF) toll-free wildlife conflict helpline at 1-855-571-9003, 8:00AM-4:30PM, Monday through Friday or visit the VDGIF website at: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/problems/.

Raising a wild animal in captivity is illegal unless you have a state permit, which is available only to zoos and wildlife rehabilitators. Each animal’s nutritional, housing, and handling requirements are very specific and must be met if they have any chance of survival.

…Wildlife managers have additional concerns about fawn rehabilitation. The process requires deer to be moved, treated (often in contact with other deer), and then released back into the wild.  Often, rehabilitated deer must be released into areas with already high deer populations.  Movement and commingling of deer increase the risks that contagious diseases, such as tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease (CWD), will be introduced into Virginia’s wild deer population. In fact, detections of CWD in Frederick and Shenandoah Counties have prompted the prohibition of deer rehabilitation in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren Counties. See: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/.

The best advice for someone who wants to help wildlife is to keep it wild. …More information [on deer] can be obtained on the agency’s website: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/deer/.
[End excerpt]

More information on dealing with found wildlife generally is available from the DGIF’s “Injured and Orphaned Wildlife” page, online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/injured/.

Nutrient-management School Offered by Va. DCR in Staunton, June 23-24 and June 29-July 1, 2015.

Following are the hyperlinked headline and an excerpt from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s May 12, 2015, news release on nutrient management training in summer 2015.

Nutrient management training to be offered in Staunton, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation News Release, 5/12/15.

A two-part nutrient management training school will be offered in late June at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton.  The training is open to anyone interested in learning more about the development of agricultural nutrient management plans or how to become a certified plan writer. …

The first session, June 23-24, will cover soil science, soil fertility and crop production.  The second session, June 29-July 1, will cover nutrient management plan writing using a case-study farm.  Both sessions will run 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day.  The fee for each session is $130 per person.  Registration by June 12 is recommended.

Nutrient management plans are guides for applying manure, fertilizers, biosolids, and other soil amendments so that crop yields are maximized, and ground and surface waters are protected from nutrient pollution. Application rates are determined by a process using yield records (or soil productivity when yield records aren’t available).

The training is open to everyone and will give participants an understanding of the process required to develop a nutrient management plan. Exercises will be hands-on and based on real scenarios.

…For more information about training and certification, go to www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_and_water/nmtrain.shtml.  To register, contact Susan Jones at 804-443-3803 or susan.jones@dcr.virginia.gov[End excerpt]

Mapping Virginia’s Wine Industry and Measuring Coastal Agricultural Water Use are Subjects of NASA DEVELOP Program Research Projects Completed in 2015

Following are the hyperlinked headline and an excerpt from the Virginia governor’s office’s May 14, 2015, news release on recently completed Virginia agricultural research projects by the DEVELOP Program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

Governor McAuliffe Announces Completion of Spring 2015 Research Collaborations with NASA Langley Research Center, 5/14/15.

Excerpt: …[T]he National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/Langley Research Center…DEVELOP Program has completed two projects in Virginia designed to support the Commonwealth’s wine industry and improve the efficiency of water consumption for agricultural purposes. … As part of the NASA Applied Sciences Program, DEVELOP supports activities that discover and demonstrate innovative uses and practical benefits of NASA Earth science data, scientific knowledge, and technology.   The DEVELOP National Program fosters an interdisciplinary research environment in which applied science research projects are conducted under the guidance of NASA and partner science advisors.  DEVELOP participants also work directly with Commonwealth professionals on research projects that focus on using NASA Earth observations to address community concerns and public policy issues.

“The first research project, ‘Virginia Agriculture II,’ is a partnership between the Virginia Wine Board and DEVELOP that maps the acreage of Virginia vineyards using NASA Earth observations.  The results of this project were presented to the Virginia Wine Board in order to explore the future of viticulture – the science, production, and study of grapes.  DEVELOP teams in Richmond and Wise County collaborated on the project.

“The second research project, ‘Coastal Mid-Atlantic Water Resources III,’ partners the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Digital Harvest, a Virginia-based company using unmanned aerial vehicle technology in the agriculture sector, to use NASA Earth observations to gain a better understanding of how often farmers need to irrigate their fields, with a goal to decrease water waste and lower economic costs.   This project offers the Commonwealth a greater understanding of water consumption behavior in a region, as well as a useful proxy for drought monitoring throughout Virginia.  DEVELOP teams in Richmond and Hampton collaborated on this research.   Project results will also be shared with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to explore potential use by the agency.

“… NASA DEVELOP is helping to promote workforce development throughout the Commonwealth by engaging Virginia in innovative applied research projects that address environmental concerns in areas such as agriculture, ecological forecasting, water resources, and air quality.  DEVELOP offers research opportunities for participants during three 10-week terms per year.   In Virginia, DEVELOP has been active in Wise County and Hampton, in addition to the new partnership with the Governor’s office in Richmond.

“For more information on the NASA DEVELOP program, please visit http://develop.larc.nasa.gov/.”  [End excerpt]

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for May 20–June 2, 2105

For more information, click on underlined meeting dates. Click here for the Commonwealth Calendar listing of all government meetings open to the public, and here for the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall listing of all government meetings of a regulatory nature.

For other, non-governmental, events, please see the Water Central News Grouper post, Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events.


5/20/15, 9:30 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board. At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.

5/20/15, 10 a.m.: Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority.  At Virginia Commonwealth University East Engineering Hall, 401 West Main Street in Richmond.

5/21/15, 9 a.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services. At the Virginia State Capitol, Senate Room 3, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

5/21/15, 10 a.m.: Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee. At Sydnor Hydro, 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

5/26/15, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board. At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

5/26/15, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission. At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

5/28/15, 9 a.m.: Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals. At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

5/28/15, 10 a.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation. At Shenandoah River State Park, 350 Daughter of Stars Drive in Bentonville (Warren County).

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For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+oth+MTG. Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services are available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

None during this period.

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For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, click here for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Web site; click on “Public Notices” in the menu to the left to access upcoming meetings and public-comment periods. A search tool to find approved TMDL reports is available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx.

5/20/15, 2 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairment in North Fork Catoctin Creek, located in the Potomac River basin in Loudoun County. At the Purcellville Library, 220 East Main Street in Purcellville.

5/26/15, 6 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacteria and sediment impairments in Chestnut Creek, in the New River watershed in Carroll and Grayson counties and in the City of Galax. At the Galax Public Library, 610 West Stuart Drive in Galax.
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(topics listed alphabetically)

Biosolids (Treated Sewage Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests
5/27/15, 7 p.m.: On the permit application by Synagro Central, LLC, of Champlain, Va., to land-apply biosolids on about 1513 acres in Prince George County.  At the county administration building, 6602 Courts Drive in Prince George.

Infrastructure Construction Funding
6/2/15, 9 a.m.: Virginia Resources Authority Board of Directors.  At the VRA Office, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1920, in Richmond. On June 1, the following committees and subcommittees meet at the same location (click on meeting times for more information): Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Subcommittee, 12:30 p.m.; Personnel Committee, 2:30 p.m.; Budget Committee, 4 p.m.

Scenic Rivers
5/20/15, 1 p.m.: Goose Creek Scenic River Advisory Board. At the Loudoun County Government Center in Leesburg.

5/21/15, 2 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Stormwater Stakeholder Advisory Group/Wordsmithing Workgroup.  At the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Central Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond.  On 5/22/15, 9 a.m., the Group’s Enforcement Workgroup meets at the same location.  On 5/26/15, 1 p.m., the Group’s Nutrient Trading Workgroup meets at the same location.