Virginia and Chesapeake Bay-area Water News Headlines Sampler for November 6–19 2013: Oyster Harvest, Uranium Mining, Car-wash Water Conservation, Maryland Phosphorus Index, and Growing Blue Award for Maryland Nutrient-credit Trading

Following are headlines and notes for a selection of water-news stories in Virginia, in nearby areas, or otherwise elated to Virginia, from the period November 6–19, 2013.  The headlines are grouped by topics and—within those groups—from newest to oldest.  Explanatory notes have been added in brackets after the publication and date.  Unless otherwise noted, all places mentioned are in Virginia.  As of 11/20/13, all headlines listed below have working hyperlinks to take you to the full article.

Fisheries
Virginia Posts Largest Oyster Harvest Since 1987, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 11/18/13; Virginia oyster harvest biggest in 26 years, Daily Press, 11/18/13; and More Chesapeake Bay oysters harvested, but officials keep fingers crossed for true rebound, Washington Post, 11/19/13.  On November 18, 2013, Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell’s office announced that Virginia’s 2012-2013 oyster harvest was 406,000 bushels, the largest harvest since 1987 and about 60 percent higher than the 2011-12 harvest.  The harvest included 149,000 bushels from public oyster grounds and 257,000 bushels from oyster grounds leased for private aquaculture operations.

Uranium Mining
McAuliffe looks to bury uranium issue, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/13/13.  On November 11, 2013, Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe told the Virginian-Pilot newspaper that he would veto any bill from the Virginia General Assembly that removed the Commonwealth’s moratorium (in place since 1982) on uranium mining and milling, and that he would not allow development of regulations that would govern any potential future mining.

Water Supply
Car wash water conservation program launched, Charlottesville Daily Progress, 11/13/13.  In November 2013, officials in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville announced a new car-wash water-conservation certification program.  The program encourages car wash facilities to install water-saving devices.

Outside of Virginia But in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Phosphorus regulations delayed, again, Bay Journal, 11/19/13; and Proposed phosphorus rules pulled for further review, The (Easton, Md.) Star Democrat, 11/19/13.  On November 15, 2013, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that it was withdrawing proposed regulations that would have required use of a new tool for farmers to calculate how much phosphorus could be applied to agricultural lands.  The regulations were proposed and withdrawn in 2012, as well.  Concerns were raised during the public-comment period that the new tool, which would replace a current index for measuring phosphorus needs and potential runoff, would be too complicated and too expensive.

Growing Blue Award Nominations, Southern Maryland News Net, 11/7/13.  On November 6, 2013, at the American Water Summit in Washington, D.C., Maryland’s nutrient-credit trading program received a Growing Blue Award.  Growing Blue, online at http://growingblue.com, seeks to increase public understanding of water’s importance for economies, society, and the environment.  The Maryland program was one of four nationwide recognized at the November 6 event.

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