Category Archives: Wetlands

On Virginia Water Radio for 8-7-17: Proposed Gas Pipelines and Water Quality Issues

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of August 7, 2017, is “Natural Gas Pipelines, Water Resources, and the Clean Water Act.”  The 5 min./10 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2017/08/episode-380-8-7-17-natural-gas.html, gives an overview of the water resources potential affected by the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley gas pipelines, plus an introduction to the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification process, the subject of public comment/public hearings in Virginia from August 7-14, 2017.


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!

Virginia Tidal Wetlands Workshop May 2, 2017, at College of William and Mary

The annual Spring Tidal Wetlands Workshop will be held May 2, 2017, at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.  The workshop is organized by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) Center for Coastal Resource Management.  The theme for this spring’s workshop is “Sustainable Shorelines in Action: Successful Applications & Incentive Programs.”  Planned topics include the following:
*Living shoreline projects;
*Living shoreline general permits;
*New federal Nationwide Permit 54 for living shorelines;
*New funding support by the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program & Living Shorelines Loan Program;
*Shoreline management best management practice (BMP) credits for the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL);
*Connections between shoreline management and the FEMA Community Rating System;
*2017 General Assembly update.

For more information and to register, visit http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07edxndrzj99cc02e2&llr=5knx77cab; or contact Dawn Fleming at (804) 684-7380 or dawnf@vims.edu.

024 Marsh view at Eastern Shore NWR Oct7 2007 USED Grouper 4-4-17

Marsh view at Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge in Northampton County, Va., October 7, 2007

Pitcher Plant Restoration in Virginia is Focus of Jan. 3, 2017, Article in Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

“In Caroline County, a fight to save the pitcher plant, a ‘keystone species,’” by J. Steven Moore, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 1/3/17, describes the work of the volunteer-run Meadowview Biological Research Station in Caroline County, Va., to restore native pitcher plants to their historic range in Virginia and Maryland.  Pitcher plants are carnivorous flowering plants found in bogs, a particular type of wetland.  They are considered a “keystone species” because they typically are found only in areas of good water quality.  According to the article, approximately 100 species of pitcher plants exist worldwide, with 11 species known in the United States.

The article is available online at http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/environment/in-caroline-county-a-fight-to-save-the-pitcher-plant/article_1c376550-5692-5f66-aaec-7fef35f5f679.html (as of 1/11/17), or contact the newspaper at 1340 Central Park Blvd, Suite 100, Fredericksburg, VA 22401; phone: (540) 374-5000; e-mail: newsroom@fredericksburg.com.

More information about two species of pitcher plants in Virginia is available from the Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora, online at http://vaplantatlas.org/.

Request for Wetland Mitigation Proposals in Roanoke River Basin in Virginia – Deadline to Submit Proposals is March 10, 2017

Through March 10, 2017, The Nature Conservancy is soliciting proposals for wetlands mitigation in the Roanoke River basin in Virginia.  Information about the solicitation is available online at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/vartf-roanoke-wetland-mitigation.xml.

According to the announcement at that site, “The purpose of the project is to provide wetland mitigation to offset unavoidable impacts for which the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund was utilized as the compensatory mitigation.  The Conservancy is seeking projects that will deliver 10 or more non-tidal wetland credits and can service multiple HUCs [hydrologic units] in the Roanoke River basin.  The primary objectives are to restore, enhance, and/or preserve wetland systems to address the credit needs in the Roanoke River Basin.  In general, wetland mitigation [comprises] activities that create, restore, enhance, or preserve wetland resources.  Such activities improve wetland functions and may result in gain of wetland acreage in the case of creation and restoration.”

More information about the Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund is available from The Nature Conservancy online at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/the-virginia-aquatic-resources-trust-fund-home.xml.

More information about mitigation generally in Virginia is available from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WetlandsStreams/Mitigation.aspx.

Sea-level Rise and Virginia’s Coastal Wetlands Discussed in Summer 2016 Publication from Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Sea-level rise and its connections to Virginia’s coastal wetlands are the focus of the Summer 2016 issue of Rivers and Coast, published by the Center for Coastal Resources Management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS).

The 8-page publication is available online at http://ccrm.vims.edu/publications/pubs/rivers&coast/index.html; or contact the Center at P.O. Box 1346, Gloucester Point, VA 23062; phone (804) 684-7380.

On Virginia Water Radio for 8-1-16: A Wetland Walk

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, for the week of August 1, 2016, is “A Wetland Walk on a Midsummer Morning.”  The 3 min./53 sec. episode, available online http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2016/07/episode-327-8-1-16-wetland-walk-on-mid.html, features sounds from a late-July walk through a wetland in Blacksburg, Va., to introduce the basics of wetlands.

Monkeyflower by Gloria Schoenholtz

Allegheny (or Square-Stemmed) Monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens), a plant found in the wetland featured in this week’s Virginia Water Radio (Episode 327, 8-1-16).  Photo by Gloria Schoenholtz, from her Virginia Wildflowers Web site, https://virginiawildflowers.org/, used with permission.

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!

National Wetland Condition Assessment Released by U.S. EPA in May 2016

On May 11, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released results from the first National Wetland Condition Assessment 2011, the latest in the series of National Aquatic Resource Survey nationwide assessments, each of which is to be repeated every five years.  The other reports in the series have been for wadeable streams (2004), lakes (2007), rivers and streams (2008-2009), and coastal conditions (2010).  The Wetlands 2011 report is based on sampling at 1,179 sites across the county in spring and summer 2011.  Sampling for the next wetland conditions report is taking place in 2016.

Following is an excerpt from the EPA’s May 11, 2016, news release on the wetland conditions assessment: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released the first-ever National Wetland Condition Assessment, showing that nearly half of the nation’s wetlands are in good health, while 20 percent are in fair health and the remaining 32 percent in poor health.  The National Wetland Condition Assessment is part of a series of National Aquatic Resource Surveys designed to advance the science of coastal monitoring and answer critical questions about the condition of waters in the United States. …Physical disturbances to wetlands and their surrounding habitat such as compacted soil, ditching, or removal of plants, are the most widespread problems across the country, and nonnative plants are also an issue particularly in the Interior Plains and West.”

EPA documents for the Wetland Condition Assessment are available online at https://www.epa.gov/national-aquatic-resource-surveys/nwca.

Sources:
EPA Releases Report Showing Nearly Half of Nation’s Wetlands in Good Health, U.S. EPA News Release, 5/11/16.
EPA report: Coastal Virginia wetlands slightly above national average, [Newport News] Daily Press, 6/29/16.

For a Water Central News Grouper item on the latest Coastal Condition Report (data from 2010, report released in January 2016) please see this 5/4/16 post.