Monday, April 26, 2010

Virginia Water Radio 14: Week of April 26, 2010

Welcome to Virginia Water Radio (Episode 14) for the week of April 26, 2010. This week's show is hosted by Alan Raflo, research associate at the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, located at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Our show presents news and notices that relate to Virginia’s waters, from the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean.
Click to Listen to Episode 


NEWS
  • In March, Waynesboro Downtown Development presented a plan for a Center for Coldwaters Restoration along the South River. According to the Waynesboro News Virginian, the proposed center would be an advanced hatchery for Brook Trout; could support research and education on the water-resources impacts of climate change, land use, and chemical contamination; and could provide 50 jobs. A Downtown Development committee is seeking $5 million to pay for construction and the first five years of operation; the committee hopes to open the facility by 2012. News source: Summit emphasizes revitalization, Waynesboro News Virginian, 4/14/10.  
  • On April 19, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (or DEQ) reported that so far this spring there have been only a few known cases of diseased or killed fish in the Shenandoah basin or other western Virginia rivers. Since 2005, the DEQ and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries coordinate the Shenandoah River Fish Kill Task Force—consisting of agencies, fishing guides, university and government scientists, and volunteer monitors—to try to determine the cause of spring fish kills in the past several years. Reports from the public have significantly assisted the investigation of the fish kills, so the Task Force is encouraging citizens to report observations of dead or diseased fish. To report observations, phone toll-free from anywhere in Virginia to (800) 592-5482. News source: State investigators prepare for possible fish disease and mortality outbreaks, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality News Release (DEQ), 4/19/10. Observations may also be reported by phone to the DEQ regional office in Harrisonburg at (540) 574-7800 or by e-mail to fishreports@deq.virginia.gov.  
  • On April 13, Gov. Robert McDonnell announced that the EcomNets company—headquartered in Herndon—will invest $1.9 million to move to Danville its “green technology” operations, including a plant to produce energy-efficient computers. The company is expected to generate 160 jobs. News source: Governor McDonnell Announces 160 New Jobs in Danville; EcomNets to invest $1.9 million in green computer manufacturing operation, Virginia Governor’s News Release, 4/13/10.  
  • And in our last news item this week: The 40th anniversary of Earth Day was April 22. During the week around Earth Day, Virginians participated in activities to call attention to environmental issues; raise awareness of natural resources and habitats; and clean up, restore, or protect natural areas. Here are three “snapshots” of Earth Day-related activities around the Commonwealth. First, along with various conventional river cleanups on April 17, commercial divers in Norfolk competed in the Town Point News released the results of its second annual Virginia Environmental Attitudes Survey. In the survey of 719 randomly selected Virginia voters, 39 percent rated the quality of the state’s natural environment as an A or B, 51 percent as a C, and about 9 percent as a D or F. The Chesapeake Bay and its coastal tributaries were rated the most important Virginia natural resource by the highest percentage of respondents (30 percent) with “Historic Rivers” rated the most important by the second highest percentage (19 percent). And about 78 percent of respondents said state government has either “some” or “a great deal” of responsibility to create policies to address climate change and improve the environment. News sources: Ecodivers scour Elizabeth River bottom for trash, Virginian-Pilot, 4/18/10; Groups to mark Earth Day with river cleanup, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 4/20/10; Local documentary on Chesapeake Bay hits PBS tomorrow, Daily Press, 4/21/10; and Virginians say environment's health getting worse, Virginian-Pilot, 4/21/10. More information about the documentary film “The Last Boat Out” is available online at http://seltzerfilmvideo.com/. More information about the Virginia Environmental Attitudes Survey is available online at http://cpp.cnu.edu/.

WATER SOUNDS AND MUSIC  

This week we feature another mystery sound: Upland Chorus Frog

This small frog is found in various wet habitats in all regions of Virginia. The males make this mating call during breeding season from late winter through early spring. Like all amphibians, Chorus Frogs have skin with no fur, scales, or feathers, and this permeable surface helps them breathe. Thanks to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Frog Call Survey staff and to Lang Elliott of NatureSound Studio for permission to use this recording from the 2008 CD, “The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads.”  Information from Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, by B.S. Martof et. al., University of North Carolina Press/Chapel Hill (1980); Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Virginia, J.C. Mitchell and K.K. Reay, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries/Richmond (1999); and the Web site of the Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS) Web site, http://fwie.fw.vt.edu/VHS/ (click here to go directly to VHS information about Upland Chorus Frogs).


UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS

First, in government policy and regulatory meetings
  • On May 4 the Middle Peninsula State Park Master Plan Advisory Committee meets in Gloucester. For more information, phone Robert Munson at (804) 786-6140.
Two upcoming meetings about Totaaximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs, for impaired waters:
  • May 4 in Bealton, on the TMDL for Browns Run, Craig Run, and Marsh Run, all in Fauquier County. For more information, phone Bob Slusser at (540) 351-1590.
  • And May 5 in Carson, on the TMDL for Hatcher Run in Dinwiddie County and for an unnamed tributary to Nebletts Mill Run in Sussex County. For more information, phone Margaret Smigo at (804) 527-5124.
Finally, in upcoming educational events:
  • On May 7, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., in Henrico, the Virginia Water Monitoring Council holds its annual conference, titled: What's Coming Down the Pipe--Exploring Emerging Water-quality Issues. For more information, phone Katie Register at (434) 395-2602.
  • On May 6-8, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge near Suffolk is holding a Birding Festival in connection with International Migratory Bird Day. For more information, phone (757) 986-3705. 
  • And on May 8 in Leesburg, the non-profit organization Wisdom Spring is holding its annual Walking for Water, a event to raised funds for water wells, medicine, and education in the African country of Burkina Faso. For more information, phone Susan Hough at (703) 505-5152.
Virginia Water Radio is a product of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, which is solely responsible for the show’s content. Hosting and bandwidth for this podcast are also provided by the Water Center. We invite you to visit the center online at www.vwrrc.vt.edu.

Show notes and production assistance were provided by Patrick Fay. Recording assistance was provided by Gabrielle Minnich of the Office of University Relations at Virginia Tech.

Opinions expressed on this show are not necessarily those of the Water Center, Virginia Tech, or this station.

If you need more information about anything mentioned this week, call us at (540) 231-5463, or visit our web site at www.virginiawaterradio.org.
 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Virginia Water Radio 13: Week of 4-19-2010

Welcome to Virginia Water Radio (Episode 13) for the week of April 19, 2010. This week's show is hosted by Alan Raflo, research associate at the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, located at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Our show presents news and notices that relate to Virginia’s waters, from the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean.
Click to Listen to Episode


NEWS

  • According to the Eastern Shore News, between December 2009 and March 15, 2010, 66 Virginia watermen participating in the Marine Debris Removal Program recovered over 9,000 lost crabbing pots (or so-called “ghost pots”) and other marine trash that can trap Blue Crabs or other aquatic animals. The program, started in 2008 and coordinated by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, pays watermen $300 per day and covers fuel costs. The $1-million annual cost of the program so far has been covered by U.S. Commerce Department funds provided after the September 2008 federal disaster declaration for the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab fishery. News source: Watermen pull up 9,000 'ghost pots', Eastern Shore News, 3/31/10.
  • On March 23 the U.S. EPA released, for a 30-day public comment period, draft guidance for management of federal lands in the Bay watershed. The guidance describes recommended practices to reduce nonpoint source water pollution from agricultural lands, forestry activities, urban and suburban lands, and septic systems. The guidance was called for by President Obama’s May 2009 executive order on an increased federal role in Chesapeake restoration efforts. Following public comment and potential revisions, the guidance is to be included in the EPA’s Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, for the Bay. News source: U.S. EPA Tries Reducing Water Pollution to Chesapeake Bay, WIVT/WBGH (N.Y.) Television, 3/23/10. The guidance document is available online at http://www.epa.gov/nps/chesbay502/
  • On April 7, the Chesapeake Bay Program released its annual “Bay Barometer,” assessing the 2009 status of Bay “health indicators” and of Bay restoration and protection actions. The Bay health indicators (water quality, habitats, the lower food web, fish, and shellfish) had a 2009 score of 45 percent of stated goals (where 100 percent would indicate a fully restored Bay); this was an increase over the score of 39 percent for conditions in 2008. The restoration actions (reducing pollution, restoring habitats, managing fisheries, protecting watersheds, and fostering stewardship) had a 2009 score of 64 percent, an increase over the 2008 score of 61 percent. The report states that despite this modest progress, the Bay remains “degraded” and “in poor condition,” and that “pollution from urban and suburban areas continues to hinder the effectiveness of restoration efforts.” News source: 2009 Bay Barometer: Bay Health Poor Overall Despite Upticks in Specific Indicators, Chesapeake Bay Program, 4/7/10. More information and access to the report is available online at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/indicatorshome.aspx?menuitem=14871.  
  • But our last item this week is pretty good news: On April 14, Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley announced that the most recent winter dredge survey of the Bay Blue Crab population showed a 60-percent increase over the previous year, up to 658 million crabs, the highest population estimate since 1997. The survey samples crabs at 1,500 sites in the Bay from December to March. The two governors and survey scientists attributed the population increase to actions taken by the two states since 2008 to reduce Blue Crab harvests, especially of females. The survey also found that crab reproduction this year was the sixth highest in the 21 years of the survey. With the increased populations, last year’s harvest—including a 30-percent increase in Virginia, according to preliminary estimates—took about 43 percent of available crabs, below the 46-percent harvest rate considered by scientists to be sustainable. News source: Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Population Booms to Highest Level Since 1997; 60% Increase from Last Year, Virginia Governor’s News Release, 4/14/10. For more perspective, here are links to four April 15 newspaper accounts of the Blue Crab announcement: Chesapeake Bay blue crab continues comeback, Newport News Daily Press; Chesapeake Bay crab numbers jumped 60 percent last year, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot; Chesapeake Bay's blue-crab numbers up 60 percent, Richmond Times-Dispatch; and Chesapeake Bay crabs are making a big comeback, Washington Post.   

WATER SOUNDS AND MUSIC

This week we feature a selection by Tom Wisner, known as the “Bard of the Chesapeake Bay,” who died on April 2, 2010. In this song he is accompanied by his son Mark and by Teresa Whitaker, singing part of “Chesapeake Born,” from the 1978 album of the same name on Folkways Records. A Washington, D.C., native and long-time Maryland resident, Mr. Wisner dedicated his life to learning, singing, and teaching about the Bay and its protection. More information about Tom Wisner is available from A Bay's Life in Story and Song: A Celebration of Tom Wisner, Baynet.com, 1/16/10; and from the following two obituaries: Thomas A. Wisner, 79: 'Bard of the Chesapeake' sang about the bay he loved, Washington Post, 4/4/10, and “Bard of the Bay”—Tom Wisner-Gone But Not Forgotten, Baynet.com, 4/11/10.

UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS

First, in government policy and regulatory meetings occurring April 22 through April 28:
  • On April 22 is a public comment meeting on the Claytor Lake State Park Master Plan update. For more information, phone Robert Munson at (804) 786-6140.
  • On April 23, the Scenic River Advisory Board meets in Richmond. For more information, phone David Dowling at (804) 786-2291. 
  • Also on April 23, the advisory committee on Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations meets in Richmond. For more information, phone Allen Knapp at (804) 864-7458. 
  • On April 27, the Marine Resources Commission meets in Newport News. For more information, phone Jane McCroskey at (757) 247-2215. 
  • And also on April 27, the advisory committee on the General Permit for Sewage Discharges of 1000 gallons per day or less meets in Richmond. For more information, phone George Cosby at (804) 698-4067.  
Now, here are two upcoming meetings about Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs, for impaired waters:
  • April 22, in Buckingham, on the TMDL for Slate River, several tributaries to Slate River , and Rock Island Creek, all in Buckingham County. For more information, phone Ram Gupta at (540) 371-0991. 
  • And April 28, in Heathsville, on the TMDL for the Mill Creek watershed in Northumberland County. For more information, phone Margaret Smigo at (804) 527-5124.
And in upcoming educational events: 
  • On April 24, Mason Neck State Park in Fairfax County is having its Eagle Festival. Besides a chance to see eagles, the event includes canoe tours, trips to a Great Blue Heron rookery, and live shows with reptiles, aquatic animals, hawks, and owls. For more information, phone (703) 339-2384. 
  • Finally, here’s a chance for you and your camera to teach the rest of us about Virginia’s best views. The Scenic Virginia Viewshed Photo Competition is open for entries until June 30, 2010. Categories for entries are Coastal or Chesapeake Bay, Urban Landscapes, Farmland or Open Space, Mountains, and Waterways. For more information, phone Scenic Virginia at (804) 643-8439.
Virginia Water Radio is a product of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, which is solely responsible for the show’s content. Hosting and bandwidth for this podcast are also provided by the Water Center. We invite you to visit the center online at www.vwrrc.vt.edu.

Show notes and production assistance were provided by Patrick Fay. Recording assistance was provided by Innovation Space at Virginia Tech.

Opinions expressed on this show are not necessarily those of the Water Center, Virginia Tech, or this station.

If you need more information about anything mentioned this week, call us at (540) 231-5463, or visit our web site at www.virginiawaterradio.org.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Virginia Water Radio 12: Week of 4-12-2010

Welcome to Virginia Water Radio (Episode 12) for the week of April 12, 2010. This week's show is hosted by Alan Raflo, research associate at the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, located at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Our show presents news and notices that relate to Virginia’s waters, from the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean.
Click to Listen to Episode 


NEWS
  • On March 18, the U.S. EPA announced that it will conduct a study of the potential water-quality and public-health impacts of the hydraulic fracturing method of recovering natural gas from bedrock reserves, such as the Marcellus shale formation that underlies parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and a small part of Virginia. The technique, which has been used for several decades, involves injecting a mix of water and chemicals underground to displace natural gas from rock. Following a large increase in gas drilling using this technique in the Marcellus formation and elsewhere in recent years, concerns have been raised about the water supply needed for the process, how to treat wastewater that is recovered, and what impacts may occur from the drilling water that remains underground. News Source: EPA Initiates Hydraulic Fracturing Study: Agency seeks input from Science Advisory Board, U.S. EPA News Release, 3/18/10.
  • According to the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, on March 25 the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it had completed the environmental impact report on a proposed third reactor at Dominion Virginia Power’s North Anna Power Station in Louisa County. Dominion has applied to the Commission for a “combined license” covering both building and operating a third reactor; a decision by the Commission is expected in 2011. The Commission’s environmental report identified certain environmental impacts that would be caused by constructing the reactor and an associated transmission line, but concluded that these impacts should not preclude development of the third reactor, if Dominion decides to build it. News source: Nuke plan passes environmental test , Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/26/10. 
  • On April 1, the U.S. EPA issued a regulatory guidance to its regional offices in Appalachian states that details stricter permitting requirements on disposal of mountaintop mining waste in stream valleys, or “valley fills.” EPA estimates that about 2,000 miles of small streams in the Appalachians have been covered by waste from mountaintop mining. The agency will seek public comment on the guidance, but the document became effective immediately for all new permits. According to accounts of the announcement in the Bristol Herald-Courier and the Washington Post, the action was applauded by various environmental and Appalachian community groups who oppose mountaintop mining and associated valley fills, while various representatives of the coal industry and mining associations asserted that the new rules will increase coal-mining costs and reduce the ability to mine coal in Appalachia. News Sources: EPA Issues Comprehensive Guidance to Protect Appalachian Communities From Harmful Environmental Impacts of Mountaintop Mining, U.S. EPA News Release, 4/1/10; New EPA mining rules have environmentalists jumping for joy, coal companies worrying about future, Bristol Herald-Courier, 4/2/10; and Environmental regulations to curtail mountaintop mining, Washington Post, 4/2/10. EPA’s Web site for all the guidance-related documents is “Surface Coal Mining Activities under Clean Water Act Section 404,” at http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/guidance/mining.html (as of 4/7/10). 
  • And our last news items this week comes from the Virginia Rural Water Association on their Source Water Protection Program. Throughout 2010 the Association is helping localities develop source water protection plans that describe in detail the local public water systems, delineate protection areas around the sources of the public water, and describe how localities can implement protection areas. The process is guided by a committee of citizens and is designed to be a grassroots, local effort; it is not a mandated regulatory requirement. The Association provides the assistance free of charge. For more information on developing a Source Water Protection Plan, localities may phone J.P. Gannon at (540) 449-9400. Information source: J.P. Gannon, Virginia Rural Water Association, 4/7/10. For more information: The Web site of Virginia Rural Water Association is http://www.vwra.org. Information about the Virginia Department of Health’s Source Water Protection activities is available at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinkingwater/source/swpp.htm.].

WATER SOUNDS AND MUSIC

This week we feature another mystery sound: the American Toad.

This well-known amphibian is found throughout Virginia, except for the southeastern corner of the state, where the Southern Toad takes its ecological place. After mating in March and April, females lay long, gelatinous strings of eggs in temporary pools. Adults develop within about two months, move to land habitats, and proceed to feed on a wide variety of insects, spiders, and other animals. Information from Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, by B.S. Martof et. al., University of North Carolina Press/Chapel Hill (1980); Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Virginia, J.C. Mitchell and K.K. Reay, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries/Richmond (1999); and the Web site of the Virginia Herpetological Society Web site, http://fwie.fw.vt.edu/VHS/.]

UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS

First, in government policy and regulatory meetings occurring from April 15 to April 21, and it’s a busy schedule this week:
  • On April 15, the Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals meets in Richmond. For more information, phone David Dick at (804) 367-8595.
  • On April 19, the Stormwater Best Management Practices Clearinghouse Committee meets in Charlottesville. For more information, phone David Dowling at (804) 786-2291. 
  • Also on April 19, the Middle Peninsula State Park Master Plan Advisory Committee holds a public-comment meeting in Gloucester. For more information, phone Robert Munson at (804) 786-6140. 
  • On April 20, the Game and Inland Fisheries Board meets in Richmond. For more information, phone Beth Drewery at (804) 367-9149.
  • Also on April 20, the Gas and Oil Board meets in Lebanon. For more information, phone David Asbury at (276) 415-9700. 
  • On April 21, the Board for Professional Soil Scientists and Wetland Professionals meets in Richmond. For more information, phone Kate Nosbisch at (804) 367-8514. 
  • Also on April 21, the Advisory Committee on the General Permit for Nitrogen and Phosphorus Discharges and Nutrient Trading in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, meets in Glen Allen. For more information, phone George Cosby at (804) 698-4067. 
  • And again on April 21, the Abandoned Mined Land Advisory Committee meets in Big Stone Gap. For more information, phone Roger Williams at (276) 523-8208.
Finally, in upcoming educational and recreation events:
Virginia Water Radio is a product of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, which is solely responsible for the show’s content. Hosting and bandwidth for this podcast are also provided by the Water Center. We invite you to visit the center online at www.vwrrc.vt.edu.

Show notes and production assistance were provided by Patrick Fay. Recording assistance was provided by Innovation Space at Virginia Tech.

Opinions expressed on this show are not necessarily those of the Water Center, Virginia Tech, or this station.

If you need more information about anything mentioned this week, call us at (540) 231-5463, or visit our web site at www.virginiawaterradio.org.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Virginia Water Radio 11: Week of 4-5-2010

Welcome to Virginia Water Radio (Episode 11) for the week of April 5, 2010. This week's show is hosted by Alan Raflo, research associate at the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, located at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Our show presents news and notices that relate to Virginia’s waters, from the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean.

Audio archived 2-13-12; for access, please contact Virginia Water Radio.

NEWS
  • On March 22, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced a new agency approach to regulating drinking-water contaminants. The approach will follow four principles: 1) addressing contaminants as groups rather than one at a time; 2) fostering development of new drinking water technologies that address multiple contaminants; 3) using the authority of various federal statutes for drinking water protection; and 4) seeking partnerships with states on collecting and sharing data from public water systems. Ms. Jackson also announced that the agency’s plans to seek stricter regulations for the following four carcinogenic chemicals: tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, acrylamide, and epichlorohydrin. EPA currently is considering regulatory revisions for 14 other chemicals, as well, including arsenic, atrazine, chromium, copper, flouride, lead, and perchlorate. News source: EPA Administrator Jackson Outlines New Vision for Clean, Safe Drinking Water, U.S. EPA News Release, 3/22/10. Additional information: According to the EPA’s press release, “tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene are used in industrial and/or textile processing and can be introduced into drinking water from contaminated ground or surface water sources, [while] crylamide and epichlorohydrin are impurities that can be introduced into drinking water during the water treatment process.”
  • Severe weather can strike Virginia year-round, so its wise for communities to get ready. On March 29, the National Weather Service recognized Virginia Tech as having completed the hazardous-weather preparations required to receive the “Storm Ready” designation. Virginia Tech is the first Virginia college or university, and the 50th in the United States, to receive the designation. Storm Ready preparations include establishing a 24-hour warning location and emergency operations center; having more than one way to receive hazardous weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the community; monitoring local weather conditions; promoting weather readiness through community seminars; training weather spotters; and having emergency-response exercises. Overall as of April 1, there were 1584 Storm Ready sites in the United States. News source: Virginia Tech declared StormReady by National Weather Service, Virginia Tech News, www.vtnews.vt.edu, 3/29/10. More information about the National Weather Service’s Storm Ready program is available online at http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/.
  • In a widely reported water and energy development: On March 31, President Obama announced a new federal energy policy that, among other things, will allow exploration for oil and natural gas off the Atlantic coast from Delaware to Florida. The president’s policy also opens new areas in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the northern coast of Alaska, but prohibits exploration in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The first sale of leases for exploration in the Atlantic Ocean in the past 20 years is expected to be for parcels in a 2.9-million-acre area off the Virginia coast, known as the Lease Sale 220 area. That sale is expected to occur in 2011 or 2012, although various approvals and agreements are still needed before the sale and exploratory drilling can occur in the area.  News sources: Obama seeks compromise in offshore drilling plan, Christian Science Monitor, 3/31/10; and Offshore drilling concerns NASA, Navy, and environmentalists, Newport News Daily Press, 4/1/10. More information about Virginia Lease Sale 220 is available at the federal Minerals Management Services’ Web site, http://www.mms.gov/offshore/220.htm. More information about the overall offshore energy policy is available in the March 31, 2010, U.S. Department of Interior news release, “Secretary Salazar Announces Comprehensive Strategy for Offshore Oil and Gas Development and Exploration.”
  • And in our last news item this week: On April 10, the Alice Ferguson Foundation will hold its 22nd Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup on hundreds of stream and river sites in the Potomac basin in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In the 2009 clean up, over 13,000 volunteers and over 275 groups participated, collecting over 580,000 pounds of trash. If you want to find a site to help with this year’s event, phone (301) 292-5665. News source: Potomac River Watershed Clean up Web site, www.fergusonfoundation.org/trash_initiative/trash_cleanup.shtml, accessed 3/31/10.

WATER SOUNDS AND MUSIC

This week we feature one of the most famous songs ever about water in Virginia (at least, that’s what it might be about): “Shenandoah,” a powerful version by the incomparable Paul Robeson, on the album “Paul Robeson Sings ‘Ol Man River and Other Favorites: 1929-1939,” from EMI/Angel Records. But is the song really about Virginia’s beloved Shenandoah River? The origin of the tune is not definitely known, and various versions of the lyrics create confusion about the subject. But there’s no doubt about the beauty of the song and the strong connection to it that many Virginians feel. More information about the origin of “Shenandoah” is available from the Library of Congress’ Performing Arts Encyclopedia, online at http://www.loc.gov/performingarts/. More information about Paul Robeson is available from the Web site for the Paul Robeson episode on PBS’ American Master’s series.

UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS 

First, in government policy and regulatory meetings, from the Virginia Regulatory Townhall Web site:
  • On April 8, the Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals meets in Richmond. For more information, phone David Dick at (804) 367-8595.
  • On April 14, the Finance, Audit, and Compliance Committee of the Game and Inland Fisheries Board meets in Richmond. For more information, phone Beth Drewery at (804) 367-9149. 
  • Also on April 14, the State Water Control Board’s Advisory Committee on the general discharge permit for seafood processing facilities meets in Richmond. For more information, phone George Cosby at (804) 698-4067. 
  • And again on April 14, the Conservation and Recreation Board holds a public comment meeting in Randolph on revisions to the master plan for Staunton River State Park in Halifax County. For more information, phone Robert Munson at (804) 786-6140.
And in upcoming educational events:
  • On Apr. 11 to 14 in Williamsburg, the Virginia Rural Water Association holds its Annual Conference. For more information, phone (540) 261-7178.
  • Starting on April 14, and repeated on several days from May to August, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Suffolk offers visitors a chance to watch as birds are banded for a migratory bird survey. For more information, phone (757) 986-3705. 
  • And finally, here’s a chance for you to educate others: the James River Association is sponsoring “The James and Me,” a video contest for short public-service announcements on the theme, “Don’t Trash the River.” Participation categories are for high school students, college students, and professionals. Entries will be accepted until June 7. For more information, phone Sherrie Tribble at (804) 788-8811, ext. 202.

Virginia Water Radio is a product of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, which is solely responsible for the show’s content. Hosting and bandwidth for this podcast are also provided by the Water Center. We invite you to visit the center online at www.vwrrc.vt.edu.

Show notes and production assistance were provided by Patrick Fay. Recording assistance was provided by Innovation Space at Virginia Tech.

Opinions expressed on this show are not necessarily those of the Water Center, Virginia Tech, or this station.

If you need more information about anything mentioned this week, call us at (540) 231-5463, or visit our web site at www.virginiawaterradio.org.