Category Archives: Water Quality and Habitat in Chesapeake Bay Tributaries and Coastal Waters

Items related to aquatic life and conditions in the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia’s coastal waters, Virginia’s Chesapeake tributaries (James, Potomac, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and York), and Chesapeake Bay waters in other states.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 2-22-21: Some Feathered, Cold-weather Fauna of the Chesapeake Area

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of February 22, 2021, is “Winter Birds of the Chesapeake Bay.”  The 4 min./14 sec. episode, available online http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/02/episode-565-2-22-21-winter-birds-of.html, focuses on some of the Chesapeake Bay area feathered wildlife that will soon be heading north. The episode features music composed for Virginia Water Radio by Torrin Hallett. This is a revised version of an episode from February 2013.

Drawing of a Dunlin, one of the birds featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 565.  Drawing by Tom Kelley, made available in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Digital Library, online at https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/.  Specific URL for the image is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/5023/rec/1, as of 2/23/21.

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 or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 8-17-20: “Smart” Buoys in the Chesapeake Bay

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of August 17, 2020, is “‘Smart’ Chesapeake Bay Buoys Describe Geography, History, and Current Conditions.”  The 4 min./40 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2020/08/episode-538-8-17-20-smart-chesapeake.html, looks at the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS), including its connection to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.  The episode features music by the Richmond, Va.-based band Carbon Leaf.  This is an updated version of an episode from April 2013.

JamestownBuoyChesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS) buoy in the James River near Jamestown.  Photo accessed from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration CBIBS Web site, online at https://buoybay.noaa.gov/locations/jamestown#quicktabs-location_tabs=1.

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 or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 8-10-20: Exploring the Current Health of the Chesapeake Bay

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of August 10, 2020, is “Exploring the Story of the Chesapeake’s Condition.”  The 4 min./59 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2020/08/episode-537-8-10-20-exploring-story-of.html, looks at the most recent Chesapeake Bay  and Watershed Report Card from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (released in May 2020; data from 2019).  The episode features original music composed for Virginia Water Radio by Torrin Hallett.

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 or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 6-15-20: Virginia’s 2020 Water Quality Assessment

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of June 15, 2020, is “Virginia’s Biennial Water Quality Assessment Report.”  The 5 min./15 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2020/06/episode-529-6-15-20-virginias-biennial.html, examines some basic information about water quality, designated uses, and Virginia’s 2020 water quality assessment report (undergoing public comment through July 9, 2020).  The episode closes with music by the Virginia group The Steel Wheels.
Map watersheds with assessed uses from DEQ 2020 report
Map showing the Virginia watersheds assessed for support of designated uses, as identified in the “Draft 2020 305(b)/303(d) Water Quality Assessment Integrated Report” by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.  Map accessed online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityAssessments/2020305(b)303(d)IntegratedReport.aspx#maps, 6/16/20.

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 or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 2-10-20: Saltmarsh Sparrow and Sea-level Rise

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of February 10, 2020, is “The Saltmarsh Sparrow and Its Connection to Sea-level Rise.”  The 4 min./2 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2020/02/episode-511-2-10-20-saltmarsh-sparrow.html, focuses on a bird species that’s found exclusively in Atlantic Coast salt marshes and is considered an indicator species for sea-level rise.  The episode includes excerpts of “Sparrow,” by Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand.

511 Image 1Saltmarsh Sparrow, location unidentified, June 11, 2005.  Photo by Dominic Sherony, made available for use under Creative Commons, “Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0),” accessed online at https://www.flickr.com/photos/9765210@N03/7749644414/, 2/10/20.

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 or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 1-13-20: Snow Geese

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of January 13, 2020, is “Snow Geese Gather for Coastal Virginia’s Winter.”  The 4 min./6 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2020/01/episode-507-1-13-20-snow-geese-gather.html, focuses on a bird species that brings big flocks and large sounds to eastern Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay region in the late fall and winter.  The episode includes music by Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand of New York.

507 Image2 USFWSSnow Geese in flight (location and date unidentified).  Photo made available for public use the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov; the specific URL for the image is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/4372/rec/1, as of 1/14/20.

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 or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 12-9-19: Brant

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of December 9, 2019, is “Winter Brings Brant to Atlantic Coastal Waters.”  The 3 min./28 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2019/12/episode-502-12-9-19-winter-brings-brant.html, focuses on a species of goose that travels from the Arctic to the Atlantic coastline for the winter.

502 Image 2 FWSBrant in Alaska.  Photo by Tim Bowman, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov, accessed 12-10-19.  Specific URL for the photo is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/4267/rec/1.


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 or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 11-18-19: Exploring Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Virginia’s Waters

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of November 18, 2019, is “A Report on Emerging Contaminants in Virginia.”  The 4 min./29 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2019/11/episode-499-11-18-19-report-on-emerging.html, discusses an October 2019 report on contaminants of emerging concern by the Academic Advisory Committee to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.   The report was written by Kang Xia of Virginia Tech and published by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, which coordinates the Academic Advisory Committee.


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 or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 10-28-19: The Chesapeake Bay Commission

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of October 28, 2019, is “The Chesapeake Bay Commission Turns 40 in 2020.”  The 4 min./40 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2019/10/episode-496-10-28-19-chesapeake-bay.html, focuses on the Commission’s involvement since 1980 in efforts to restore the Bay.  The episode features music by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va., and Andrew VanNorstrand of New York.

496 Image 1 Bay looking north from Cape Charles Oct6 2007Chesapeake Bay looking north from Cape Charles, Va. (Northampton County), October 6, 2007.

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 or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 10-14-19: Exploring Sea-level Rise and Coastal Flooding

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of October 14, 2019, is “Exploring Sea-level Rise and Coastal Flooding With ‘Cypress Canoe’ by Bob Gramann.”  The 5 min./36 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2019/10/episode-494-10-14-19-exploring-sea.html,  focuses on rising sea levels and their connection to increased coastal flooding, also called recurrent flooding, high tide flooding, and other names.  The episode features music by Fredericksburg, Va., singer/songwriter Bob Gramann.


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 or two!