Skip to main content

A Natural Legacy

The Upper James River Watershed, an integral part of Virginia’s natural landscape, represents the catchment area for the upper segment of the James River. This watershed is a complex and dynamic environmental system, covering a substantial region where all precipitation and runoff converge into the James River. It plays a crucial role in the ecological balance of the region, supporting a diverse range of flora and fauna. The river’s journey begins in the Appalachian Mountains, winding through valleys and foothills, reflecting the area’s rich natural and human history. As the river flows, it acts as a living historical record, mirroring the area’s extensive natural and human history. The Upper James River Watershed has witnessed centuries of history, from early Native American settlements to colonial times and beyond, each period leaving its mark on the landscape. The river and its surrounding watershed have been a source of sustenance, transportation, and inspiration, shaping the cultural and economic development of the region. Today, the watershed is not only a focal point for environmental conservation efforts but also serves as a recreational haven, offering opportunities for fishing, boating, and hiking, thus fostering a deep connection between the people and the river.

Chesapeake Bay Program

The 2021 Chesapeake Bay Report Card by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science assesses the bay’s health, showing a slight improvement with a C+ grade from the previous year. It evaluates parameters like water clarity and nutrient levels against set goals. The Upper James River outperformed other areas, scoring a B-, reflecting effective conservation efforts. The report emphasizes the importance of Best Management Practices (BMPs) across various settings to mitigate pollution and improve water quality. These practices, ranging from simple rain barrel installations to complex stormwater management systems, are crucial for reducing pollution in the James River and the Chesapeake Bay, underscoring the need for continued improvement and community engagement in environmental preservation.

Best Management Practices

The Upper James River BMPs enhance water quality and reduce pollution in agricultural and urban areas.

learn more about our BMPs