Speak out on the future of the James River

Published: Apr. 4, 2012 at 3:32 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2012 at 9:55 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The James River Association wants to know what you enjoy and what you'd like to see improve.

JRA Director Bill Street wants to make sure people can enjoy the river and tributaries that flow throughout Virginia. JRA is launching a project called "Envision the James" to encourage people to share their ideas on how to improve the river.

"The river belongs to all of us, so we all have an opportunity to enjoy it," said Street. "That's what it's all about: to make sure people can enjoy the river and take care of it."

Project leaders are holding meetings throughout the Commonwealth to talk about tourism along the river, conservation, trail and river access, and wildlife habitat; all areas that make the James River a big attraction. However, pollution is also a big issue that's ignored.

"That's one of the greatest challenges for the health of the river," Street added. "We've made some great progress thinking back two or three decades from when it was one of the most polluted rivers in the country."

Envision the James is also teaming up with National Geographic to show interactive maps to engage people into the history of the James.

"We're honored they're developing those tools right here on America's founding river," Street noted. "It's very fitting."

Street says it's also important that people understand if they conserve, they're helping the river become a better place for their kids and grand kids years from now.

"That really comes down how we live on the land," Street added. "That's where all of us who live on the land that drains into the James play a role in the health of the river."

The Richmond meeting is Wednesday night at the Maymount Carriage House. It lasts from 5:30 until 7:45 p.m. Conservationist and filmmaker Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of French explorer and ecologist, Jacques-Yves Cousteau will also give a presentation.

Several more meetings will be held across the state. More information on Envision the James.

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