Water and Land Use in Virginia State Government News Releases for Jan. 23—Jan. 30, 2015: Land Conservation Foundation Grants, Port of Virginia Profits, Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program, Va. Agriculture’s Economic Impact, Rare Plant Inventory, and VMRC Minutes from 1-27-15 Meeting

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

Governor Announces Land Conservation Grants, 1/29/15. Excerpt: “Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the recipients of 14 grants totaling $1.7 million awarded by the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, a state land conservation board. The grants will help add 5,729 acres to Virginia’s conserved lands.”

Governor McAuliffe Announces Port of Virginia Operating Profit in December, 1/27/15. Excerpt: “…The Port of Virginia completed December [2014] with an operating income of $631,114 and TEU volumes surpassing 200,000 units, bringing the port’s consecutive string of profitable months to six.

Governor McAuliffe Statement on Interior Department’s Mid-Atlantic Offshore Plan, 1/27/15. [The draft plan announced by the U.S. Department of Interior on January 27 (asking for public comment) for identifying potential areas for oil and gas exploration and development leases during the 2017-2022 period, including the potential for one lease in the Mid-Atlantic off of Virginia’s coast. Information on the proposed plan for 2017-2022 is available online at http://www.boem.gov/Five-Year-Program-2017-2022/.] Excerpt: “Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today on the U.S. Interior Department’s Mid-Atlantic Offshore Plan: ‘Today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of the Interior is a positive step toward responsible offshore energy development that will create jobs and economic activity, while helping our Commonwealth diversify its energy resources.’”

DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES – http://vdacs.virginia.gov/news/press.shtml

Just How Big is Agriculture in Virginia? – Really Big, 1/30/15. [This links to “Old Dominion Agriculture by Numbers,” a post on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Blog by Herman Ellison, the Virginia State Statistician for the National Agricultural Statistics Service.]  Excerpt: “[The] 2012 Census of Agriculture counted more than 46,000 farms, which cover more than 8.3 million acres of farmland in the commonwealth. That’s nearly a third of our entire state! In fact, according to Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, agriculture is our state’s largest industry. In the most recent census, Virginia farmers reported selling more than $3.7 billion worth of agricultural products.”

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

Gift to support rare-plant inventory, 1/28/15. Excerpt:Efforts to inventory Virginia’s rare and forgotten plants received a boost this week from the Virginia Native Plant Society. The society donated $11,542 to help support botanists with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The funds, which society members raised last year through a giving campaign, will go toward inventory of the state’s rare plant species ‘lost treasures,’ some of which haven’t been documented for more than a generation.

MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION – http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/whatsnew.shtm

Commission Meeting on Jan. 27, 2015:  The summary the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s (VMRC) monthly meeting on January 27, 2015, is available at http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/Commission_Summaries/cs0115.shtm. Two items from the meeting that were noted on the VMRC news page are the following: “The Commission revoked ten commercial watermen’s licenses for their court convictions of harvesting oysters from polluted waters. However, the Commission suspended the revocations of nine of those watermen and put them on probation for a year. … In other action the Commission approved $120,000 to build a public fishing pier on the York River in King and Queen County.”

NO RELEASES DURING THIS PERIOD

Dept. of Environmental Quality – http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/NewsReleases.aspx

Dept. of Forestry – http://www.dof.virginia.gov/news/releases/index.htm

Dept. of Game And Inland Fisheries – http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/news/

Dept. of Health – http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/PressReleases/2015/index.htm (no water-related releases)

Dept. of Mines, Minerals And Energy – http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMME/Newsroom.shtml

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