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About Upper James Watershed

River Views

Southwest Virginia boasts stunning landscapes, including the picturesque James River, Virginia’s largest in-state river system. Originating at the junction of the Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers near Iron Gate, the river meanders southeast through the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering scenic views especially revered along a 59-mile stretch from the Cowpasture-Jackson confluence to the Rockbridge-Amherst-Bedford county line. This section, part of Virginia’s Scenic Rivers System since 1985, is among only 36 rivers in the Commonwealth honored with this title. The Upper James River Trail, with over ten access points, provides ample opportunities to explore this celebrated area. Discover more about the Upper James River Watershed and its waterways through our detailed blog entries.

Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Reports

There are number of Chesapeake Bay partners produce reports that educate the public about how the region is progressing towards the 2025 Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals. These reports use a variety of different factors and indicators to help create a comprehensive update for the Bay’s restoration status. Below are links to these reports.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s State of the Bay Report

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s State of the Bay report is a biennial report that assesses how the health of the Chesapeake Bay has progressed over the years. The report was first published in 1998, and the score was 27 points (out of 100). Thirteen different indicators are placed into three categories: pollution, habitat, and fisheries and used to paint a picture about the health of the Bay’s biotic and abiotic factors. In 2020, the most recent report gave the Bay a score of 32 – a five point increase from its 1998 score. This shows that efforts to help restore the Chesapeake Bay are working, but there is more to be done to get the Bay fully recovered.

CBF’s State of the Blueprint Report

CBF’s State of the Blueprint report tracks the progress being made towards the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. The Blueprint was established in 2010 as a way to track how Bay jurisdictions are progressing towards the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). A TMDL is essentially a pollution diet that identifies how much of a certain pollutant a waterbody can be exposed to before water quality becomes severely degraded. The report focuses on the Bay’s three largest states – Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The biennial report summarizes how each state is progressing towards its own water quality goals.

The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Bay Barometer Report

The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Bay Barometer report is an annual report that updates the public on progress being made towards the 10 goals and 31 outcomes outlined in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. The Bay Program uses data from government agencies, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations to create a science-based snapshot of the ecological health of the Bay.