On October 26, 2017, the James River Association (JRA) released its latest “State of the James” biennial report on the James River. The report gave the river a cumulative score of 62 out of 100, rating a “B-.” The cumulative score includes several factors that receive individual scores; the scores represent the percentage achieved toward numeric goals for each factor. The 2017 score was an increase of 10 points since the first report in 2007 and of 3 points since the 2015 report.
The reports for 2017 and those for previous years are online at https://jrava.org/about-the-james-river/state-of-the-james/, as of 10/27/17; or contact the JRA at 4833 Old Main Street, 4th Floor, Richmond, VA 23231; (804) 788-8811; email@example.com.
Below is the list of all the factors rated in 2017, with the 2017 scores and whether the rating indicated improvement or deterioration since 2015.
Bald Eagle Breeding Pairs = 100% (no change)
Striped Bass (Rockfish) Spawning Index = 59% (no change)
Oyster Abundance = 47% (no change)
Smallmouth Bass Abundance = 93 (improvement)
American Shad Abundance = 11% (improvement)
Brook Trout Ragne = 74% (improvement)
Underwater Grasses Abundance = 26% (deterioration)
Riverine Forest Cover = 94% (improvement)
Stream Condition Index = 59% (improvement)
Tidal Water Quality (algae, dissolved oxygen, and water clarity) = 62% (improvement)
Vegetated Stream Buffer Restoration = 32% (improvement)
Agricultural Pollution Controls = 48% (improvement)
Bacteria Reduction = 49% (not in 2015 report)
Sediment Pollution Reduction = 46% (improvement)
Nitrogen Pollution Reduction = 52% (deterioration)
Phosphorus Pollution Reduction = 77% (deterioriation)
Stormwater Pollution Controls = 41% (improvement)
Wastewater Pollution Reduction = 118% (improvement)
Land Protection = 88% (improvement)
James River Health Improves 10 Points in 10 Years, James River Association News Release, 10/26/17.
News media accounts on the 2017 State of the James report:
James River health improving overall, but more work needed, report says, Daily Press, 10/26/17.
James River health grade improves but more work to do, WVTF FM-Blacksburg, 10/26/17.
From a C to a B-minus in a decade, James River water quality remains a work in progress, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/27/17.
For a previous News Grouper items a State of the James report (2011), please see this link.