Water in Virginia State Government News Releases for October 23-November 4, 2014: Oysters, Civil War Battlefield Preservation, Biodiesel Plant, Wallops Island Crash, Natural Tunnel, Savage Neck Dunes, Mount Joy Pond, Saltwater License Fees

Following are titles and short excerpts from water-related or land-use-related Virginia state government news releases between October 23 and November 4, 2014 (as of 3 p.m. on Nov. 4).  To access the full text of any release, click on the release title or (if that link doesn’t work) click on the Web address beside each agency name to go to that agency’s archive of releases.

GOVERNOR’S OFFICE – https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/news-releases/

Governor McAuliffe Announces November as Virginia Oyster Month; Virginia is the Leading East Coast Seafood Producer, Third Largest in the Nation, 11/3/14.  Excerpt: “Visitors and Virginians alike are encouraged to experience the fresh wild-caught and farm-raised oysters from Virginia’s seven different oyster regions throughout the month of November, as well as participate in the numerous oyster festivals and events around the Commonwealth. …Virginia’s oyster harvest increased by 25% from 2012 to 2013, with more than 500,000 bushels—the most in nearly a generation.  Over the past 12 years, the oyster harvest in Virginia has increased from approximately 23,000 bushels in 2001 to last year’s level of just over 500,000—the highest level since 1987.  The dockside value…of the oyster harvest is 2013 was more than $22 million, up from approximately $16 million in 2012.”

Governor McAuliffe Accepts 127 Acres of Hallowed Ground from Civil War Trust; Successful partnership between Virginia and Civil War Trust increases amount of protected land at Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historic and High Bridge Trail State Parks, 10/31/14.  Excerpt: “The Commonwealth of Virginia and the Civil War Trust have been working together to protect hallowed ground at Sailor’s Creek Battlefield since 1996.  Due to this collaborative effort, 885 acres at Sailor’s Creek Historic Battlefield and 175 acres at High Bridge Trail have been protected.”

Governor McAuliffe Announces 40 New Jobs in Russell County; Appalachian Biofuels LLC to invest $3.5 million in headquarters and new biodiesel production facility, 10/29/14.  Excerpt: “…Appalachian Biofuels LLC will invest $3.5 million to establish its headquarters and enzymatic biodiesel production facility in Russell County. …Appalachian Biofuels is a new company that will process multiple waste feedstock material and refine it using an enzyme, developed and manufactured in Haifa, Israel, to produce biodiesel.”

State and Local Responders Assist Following Wallops Island Rocket Launch Failure, 10/28/14.  Excerpt: “State and local emergency responders on site during tonight’s attempted launch of Orbital Sciences Corp’s Anteres rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft at Pad 0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility quickly jumped into action to contain the fire and secure the scene following the accident. No injuries have been reported and all personnel from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility have been accounted for.”

DEPT. OF CONSERVATION AND RECREATION – http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/pr_relz.shtml#prarch

Natural Tunnel State Park master plan to be discussed Nov. 13, 10/31/14.  Excerpt: “A public meeting to discuss long-range planning for Natural Tunnel State Park in Scott County will be Nov. 13, at 7 p.m., in the park’s Cove Ridge Center, 1420 Natural Tunnel Parkway [in] Duffield. …Each state park has a master plan that guides development. Plans are updated every five years….”

Savage Neck Dunes preserve to close weekdays Nov. 3-Dec. 19, 10/29/14.  Excerpt: “Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve on Virginia’s Eastern Shore will be closed to visitors most weekdays from Nov. 3 through Dec. 19 for managed deer hunts.”

Volunteers needed for cleanup in Augusta County, 10/28/14.  Excerpt: Volunteers are needed Nov. 15 to clean up trash at one of the most significant natural areas in Augusta County.  …Mount Joy Pond Natural Area Preserve [is a] 274-acre preserve in southern Augusta County [and] is home to globally rare plants and a maturing pine and hardwood forest.  The centerpiece of the preserve is a large sinkhole pond, a feature that occurs in only a few places in Virginia.”

DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY – http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/NewsReleases.aspx
None related to water during this period.

DEPT. OF FORESTRY –
http://www.dof.virginia.gov/news/releases/index.htm
None related to water during this period.

DEPT. OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES –
http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/news/
None related to water during this period.

DEPT. OF HEALTHhttp://www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/PressReleases/2014/index.htm
None related to water during this period.

MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION – http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/whatsnew.shtm
10/28/14 meeting summary: “In the face of continuing budget shortfalls, the Commission unanimously voted to raise the saltwater recreational license fees for just the third time since 1993, to allow for the continuation of core recreational programs including recreational law enforcement, the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, the Game Fish Tagging Program, and the Artificial Reef Program.”

DEPT. OF MINES, MINERALS AND ENERGY – http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMME/Newsroom.shtml
None related to water during this period.

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