Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Episode 478 (6-24-19): The Little Blue Heron Starts Out White

Click to listen to episode (3:44).

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Extra Information
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 6-21-19.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 24, 2019.

SOUND – ~ 5 sec – Little Blue Heron call and fishing

This week, those croak and splash sounds introduce a wetland bird that’s fairly common but not very obvious, is a slow methodical hunter, and drastically changes color between its juvenile and adult stages.  Have a listen for about 10 seconds to some more sounds, and see if you can guess this creature.  And here’s a hint: this bird’s prey will become a little blue.

SOUNDS - ~10 sec – Little Blue Heron calls

If you guessed a Little Blue Heron, you’re right!  About half as tall as the Great Blue Heron, the Little Blue Heron is one of 12 North American species in the bird family of herons, egrets, night-herons, and bitterns.  The Little Blue is found in marshes and other aquatic areas along the southeastern United States coastline.  It’s a common summer and breeding resident in Virginia’s Coastal Plain region, although its Virginia population faces some threat from wetland draining, sea-level rise, and other habitat loss, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  The Little Blue is slow and deliberate as it hunts in shallow water for fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and insects. Its eggs, in turn, are preyed upon by various mammals and other birds.

The Little Blue is notable among the heron family for the color change from juveniles to adults.  While adults have a bluish body and a purplish head and neck, the immature birds have all white feathers, changing to a mix of white and blue after the first year’s molt.  According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the white coloration may help Little Blue Herons survive their first year by making them more tolerated within mixed colonies of Snowy Egrets and other white adult herons.  It’s thought that in those mixed colonies, the young Little Blues may catch more fish and gain some protection from predators.

With their changing appearance and their ecological roles, Little Blue Herons add color and diversity to summer in Virginia’s Coastal Plain.

Thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for this week’s opening sounds, and to Lang Elliott for the featured sounds, from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs.  We close with another brief burst from a Little Blue Heron, accompanied by other birds, courtesy of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

SOUNDS - ~7 sec –Little Blue Heron followed by Red-winged Blackbird and other species

SHIP’S BELL

Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close this show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The opening and closing Little Blue Heron sounds were from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/; the Little Blue Heron recording specifically is online at https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/audio/id/55/rec/56.

The second set of Little Blue Heron sounds was taken from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott, whose work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

IMAGES
Blue Heron (or Crane) painting originally published between 1827 and 1838 by John James Audubon in Birds of America (plate CCCVII [307]), as reprinted in 1985 by Abbeville Press, New York.  The painting includes an adult (foreground) and an immature bird (left) with mottled white coloration.  Photo taken June 24, 2019, from the reprint copy (no. 6 of 350 copies printed in 1985) owned by Special Collections of Virginia Tech Libraries.  Virginia Water Radio thanks Special Collections for permission to photograph their copy and for their assistance. Information about Birds of America is available from the National Audubon Society, online at http://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america.

Little Blue Heron in Florida, date not identified.  Photo by Lee Karney, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov, accessed 6-24-19; specific URL for the photo is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/17739/rec/3.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, Penn., date not identified. Photo by Bill Buchanan, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov, accessed 6-26-19; specific URL for the photo is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/11635/rec/1

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT LITTLE BLUE HERONS

The scientific name for the Little Blue Heron is Egretta caerulea.

Here are some points about the Little Blue Heron, excerpted from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/Little Blue Heron,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040029&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=17723.

Physical Description

“Small, dark heron; purplish maroon head and neck; whitish on chin and throat; bill dark gray, distal third nearly black; legs and feet between pearl gray and turquoise; length=25-29 in.; wingspread to about 41 inches.”

Distribution in Virginia

“Breeds along coast and barrier islands, post-breeding dispersal further inland…. [A]rrives in Virginia early April, leaves Oct.-Nov.

Reproduction

“Breeding season in Virginia [is] mid-April-June; incubation period 22-24 days, [and] both parents participate. …Thought to be single-brooded; sexual maturity at 1 year. … [Nest] in mixed colonies (segregated); occasionally male builds nest prior to pair formation but, usually, gathers materials while female weaves; seldom reuse old nest; favored site is few feet above ground or water in…willows, buttonbushes, and red maples….”

Behavior

“Territory selected by male (larger than subsequent territory of pair); used for hostile and sexual displays, copulation and nesting; feeding territories defended more vigorously during non-breeding season. [When foraging for food,] prefers freshwater marsh, [and[ waits for prey.”

Population Status

“Loss of habitat due to draining, dredging and filling [of] wetlands, and coastal urbanization. …The greatest threats to the species in [Virginia] are loss of suitable breeding habitat to [sea-level rise] and climate change effects, and to a lesser extent, predator impacts.  Most breeding sites are under permanent protection from development and other human activities.  Predator management, area closures, signage, and outreach efforts should continue on the barrier islands where this species nests.  Future management measures should include area closures, signage, and outreach efforts at Chesapeake Bay and western shore sites and the identification and purchase of suitable inshore high marshes to ensure habitat is available as coastal fringe marshes subside or become permanently inundated.”

SOURCES

Used for Audio

Audubon Society, “Little Blue Heron,” online at https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/little-blue-heron.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at http://www.allaboutbirds.org. The Little Blue Heron entry specifically is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Little_Blue_Heron/.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union., “Birds of North America Online”, online at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (subscription required). The Little Blue Heron entry specifically is online at https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/libher/introduction.

Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson, Life in the Chesapeake Bay, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Md., 2006.

Chandler S. Robbins et al., A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2001.

Stan Tekiela, Birds of Virginia Field Guide, Adventure Publications, Inc., Cambridge, Minn., 2002.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/Little Blue Heron,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040029&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=17723.

For More Information about Herons and Other Birds

BirdNote®, a daily broadcast/podcast on birds, online at http://birdnote.org/.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “E-bird,” online at https://ebird.org/home.  This program was featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 440, 10-1-18.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “Merlin Photo ID,” online at http://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/.  The application for mobile devices allows users to submit a bird photograph to get identification of the bird.

Virginia Society of Ornithology, online at http://www.virginiabirds.org/.  The Society is non-profit organization dedicated to the study, conservation, and enjoyment of birds in the Commonwealth.

Xeno-canto Foundation Web site, online at http://www.xeno-canto.org/.  The site provides bird songs from around the world.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Birds” subject category.

Following are links to some other episodes on birds in the family of herons, egrets, night-herons, and bitterns.

Episode 118, 7/9/12 – Summertime sampler of birds, including Great Blue Heron.
Episode 127, 9/10/12 – Green Heron.
Episode 183, 10/14/13 – fall bird migration, including Green Heron and Snowy Egret.
Episode 235, 10/13/14 – Black-crowned Night Heron.
Episode 277, 8/10/15 – Great Blue Heron and Great Egret.
Episode 430, 7/23/18 – marsh birds in Virginia, including Great Blue Heron and Least Bittern.

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or sources—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

2010 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 – Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment (including resource management and conservation, land use decisions, hazard mitigation, cost/benefit assessments).

Grades K-6 Life Processes Theme
2.4 – life cycles.
3.4 – behavioral and physiological adaptations.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 – living things as part of a system, including habitats.
3.5 – food webs.
3.6 – ecosystems, communities, populations, shared resources.
4.5 – ecosystem interactions and human influences on ecosystem.
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.4 – organisms’ classification based on features.
LS.8 – community and population interactions, including food webs, niches, symbiotic relationships.
LS.10 – changes over time in ecosystems, communities, and populations, and factors affecting those changes, including climate changes and catastrophic disturbances.
LS.11 – relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Biology Course
BIO.8 – dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Civics and Economics Course
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

Government Course
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.15 – role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Episode 477 (6-17-19): Beavers Change Habitats and (Sometimes) Challenge Humans

Click to listen to episode (4:50).

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Extra Information
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 6-14-19.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 17, 2019.

SOUND - ~ 3 sec – Beaver tail splat and splash

This week, those mystery sounds open a revised episode from 2012 on a semi-aquatic mammal known for its teeth, its tail, its fur, and its behavior.  Have a listen for about 10 more seconds, and see if you can guess what’s making the splat and splash sounds.  And here’s a hint: You can guess this if you get BUSY.

SOUNDS - ~8 sec – Beaver tail splat and splash, twice

If you guessed a beaver, you’re right! That was the sound of an American Beaver smacking its tail on the surface of a creek as the animal submerged.  The tail slap is a defensive behavior for a beaver protecting the territory around its colony.  As semi-aquatic mammals, beavers spend time both on land and in the water, in contrast to fully aquatic mammals like dolphins or whales.  Beavers live in lodges that either are dug into the banks of streams, lakes, or ponds, or are built freestanding from wood and mud, with interior spaces above water and entrances below water.  Beavers build dams to deepen the water level for lodge building, but also to allow the animals to dive for safety, travel in the water to feeding areas, and transport felled trees back to their lodge.  Beavers feed on bark from various tree species as well as on non-woody plants when those are available.

Beavers have many adaptations for their semi-aquatic life.  The paddle-like tail, besides its use in warnings, functions in propulsion and maneuvering in the water, balance while feeding on trees on land, fat reserves, and body temperature regulation.  The front feet are adapted for grasping food and digging, while the webbed hind feet aid in swimming.  When a beaver is underwater, valves keep water out of the nose and ears, transparent membranes cover the eyes, and the lips close behind the teeth, allowing underwater gnawing.  And beaver fur keeps in heat, keeps out water, helps the animal float, and provides protection from predators.

That fur’s use in hats and other products made the animals highly prized, widely trapped, and historically significant during European exploration and settlement of North America, to the point that beavers were eliminated from much of their natural range.  But reintroduction and successful reproduction have restored beaver populations to much of North America, including throughout Virginia.  The return of beavers to developed areas presents humans with a range of benefits and costs.  Beaver activity can create new wildlife habitats and have positive impacts on water quality, but it can also result in flooded human infrastructure, eating of agricultural crops, and damage to trees.

Living on land and in the water; having a significant role in the history of North America, affecting wildlife and human habitat: the American Beaver is a complicated wildlife story.  Here’s a closing take on that story, from Dietland Müller-Schwarze, in his 2011 book, The Beaver: Its Life and Impact: “This animal dazzles with its extensive constructions, demands respect as a survival artist, and—when in conflict with humans—challenges the best minds in wildlife management.  Many citizens’ groups and professionals strive to resolve those conflicts and find ways for us to coexist with beavers.”

SHIP’S BELL

Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This Virginia Water Radio episode revises and replaces Episode 113, 6-4-12.

The sounds heard in this episode are from a video recording by Virginia Water Radio at Toms Creek in Heritage Park in Blacksburg, Va., on June 2, 2012.  A 23-second segment of that video is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mulEJhKGhl0.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.

IMAGES





Three photos above: the beaver heard in this week’s episode, photographed at Toms Creek in Heritage Park in Blacksburg, Va., June 2, 2012.


Beaver lodge along Appalachian Trail at U.S. Route 42 in Giles County, Va., December 31, 2015.


Beaver dam on a tributary to Toms Creek in Heritage Park in Blacksburg, Va., January 2005.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT THE AMERICAN BEAVER

The scientific name of the American Beaver (also referred to as the North American Beaver) is Castor canadensis.

Following is information about the American Beaver excerpted from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/American Beaver,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=050069&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18064, accessed 6/14/19.

Physical Description

“This is a heavily built animal, with short legs, webbed hind feet and a horizontally flattened and scaly tail. The second digit is split, and they have short rounded ears. The fur is glossy dark brown above, with lighter under parts, and the tail becomes lighter with age. The eyes are small, and the front feet have strong claws adapted for digging and grasping tree limbs. …The lips close behind the front teeth keeping water from entering the mouth when they are cutting branches under water.”

Reproduction

“They breed in mid-January to late February or March. …They are well developed at birth: furred, eyes open, average weight 340-630 grams, inversely related to litter size. …They have moved 150 miles from the birth place, but usually begin their own colony within a few miles. They are known to range more than 450 feet from water in search of food, but usually stay much closer. The fundamental unit of population is a colony of 4-8 related individuals. The colony defends the territory against other colonies.”

Behavior and Habitat

“This species is primarily nocturnal, with some crepuscular. …When possible beavers construct dams to form ponds in which they build their lodge. If a dam is not feasible they will dig 10-40 foot long by 1-1.5 feet wide tunnels into the bank. …Water, and the availability of food…are important determinants of habitat suitability. They are also not usually found in stream/river headwaters due to the steep gradient and rocky bottoms.”

“The territory is defended by scent mounds, and tail slapping. The lodges made of wood and mud usually have 2 or more underwater entrances and a chamber a few inches above water level. …They can stay under water at least 15 minutes, but 1-2 minutes is average. Beavers influence vegetation by selective tree cutting (timber destroyed is mostly low-grade), elevating water tables and hastening or impeding succession of the adjacent forest. …The ponds created can act as catch basins, and may provide water for irrigation.”

Following is additional information from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Wildlife/Beaver,” online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/nuisance/beaver/, accessed 6/14/19.

“The beaver is North America’s largest rodent.  Adult beavers normally weigh 40 to 50 pounds, but exceptionally large animals may weigh up to 80 pounds.  They range in length from 35 to 50 inches, including the tail, which normally is about 10 inches long.  Beavers today are found throughout North America. Here in Virginia, biologists believe beavers are present in every county.  Beavers are important in that they create new habitats that benefit a variety of other animals.  Their dams slow the flow of moving waters and allow other wildlife and plant species to colonize this modified ecosystem.  Ducks and other waterfowl, as well as many reptiles, amphibians, and aquatic insects, are attracted to beaver ponds.  However, the impaired flow and removal by beavers of the woody vegetation along the shoreline can raise the water’s temperature and allow more sediment to collect behind the dam.  Lower dissolved oxygen levels and higher water temperatures may favor some organisms, but at the expense of others (e.g., trout and aquatic insects dependent upon cool, flowing waters).  Physical damage caused by beavers in the Southeast is estimated in the millions of dollars annually.  Examples of this damage include timber and agricultural crop loss, damage to roads, septic systems and other property by flooding, and destruction of ornamental plants used in landscaping.”

SOURCES USED FOR AUDIO AND OFFERING MORE INFORMATION

Center for Wildlife-Human Conflict at Virginia Tech, “Beaver,” online at https://www.humanwildlife.cmi.vt.edu/Species/beaver.htm.

Frank E. Fish, “Biomechanics and Energetics in Aquatic and Semiaquatic Mammals: Platypus to Whale,” Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, Vol. 73, No. 6 (November/December 2000), pp. 683-698; accessed online at https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/318108.

Patricia Maria Graf et al., Diving behavior in a free‐living, semi‐aquatic herbivore, the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber, Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 8, No. 2, January 2018, pp. 997–1008; accessed online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29375773.

Dietland Müller-Schwarze, The Beaver: Its Life and Impact, Second Edition, Cornell University Press/Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, N.Y., 2011.  The passage quoted in this episode is from page vii of the Preface.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Ocean Service, “What’s the Difference Between Dolphins and Porpoises?” online at https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/dolphin_porpoise.html,

Alan Raflo, “If They’re in Your Neighborhood, Beavers Can Be Big News,” Virginia Water Central Newsletter, April 2005 (pp. 14-15), Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Blacksburg, Va.; available online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49341.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Institute, “Beaver,” online at https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/beaver.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/American Beaver,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=050069&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18060.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Wildlife/Beaver,” online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/nuisance/beaver/.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Mammals” subject category.

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or sources—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

2010 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic Theme
2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, and 6.1 – Current applications to reinforce science concepts.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 – Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment.

Grades K-6 Life Processes Theme
K.7 – basic needs and processes of plants and animals.
1.5 – animals’ basic needs and distinguishing characteristics.
3.4 – behavioral and physiological adaptations.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 – living things as part of a system, including habitats.
3.6 – ecosystems, communities, populations, shared resources.
4.5 – ecosystem interactions and human influences on ecosystems.
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.1 – understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science, including current applications to reinforce science concepts.
LS.8 – community and population interactions, including food webs, niches, symbiotic relationships.
LS.9 – adaptations for particular ecosystems’ biotic and abiotic factors, including characteristics of land, marine, and freshwater environments.
LS.10 – changes over time in ecosystems, communities, and populations, and factors affecting those changes, including climate changes and catastrophic disturbances.
LS.11 – relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.8 – influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.

Biology Course
BIO.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
BIO.8 – dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Episode 476 (6-10-19): Marking Dam Safety Awareness Day

Click to listen to episode (4:24).

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Extra Information
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 6-7-19. 

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 10, 2019.

This week, we focus on a type of structure that’s found in over 2900 water locations in Virginia and that was the subject of a recent nationwide safety-awareness day.  Have a listen for about 15 seconds to three mystery sounds, and see if you can guess this kind of structure.

SOUNDS - ~15 sec

If you guessed dams, you’re right!  You heard water at the Little River dam and hydropower station near Radford, the Philpott Reservoir and hydropower dam on the Franklin County/Henry County border, and the dam creating the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg.  Since colonial times in the United States, dams have been built on small streams and large rivers for many purposes, including operating grist mills; supplying various kinds of industries; developing transportation canals; generating hydroelectric power; creating reservoirs for water supply, power-plant cooling water, flood control, or recreation; and making ponds for agriculture.  The sounds you heard are from three of Virginia’s over 2900 regulated dams, the majority of which are privately owned.  Virginia’s dams, in turn, are part of the over 90,000 dams nationwide, including about 20,000 unregulated dams, according to the 2018 inventory by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The Corps inventory states that the average age of the nation’s dams is 56 years.

Regulated dams are rated as presenting high, significant, or low human or economic hazard in the event of a failure; each classification requires a specified frequency of inspection.  Over 15,000 dams nationwide are rated as high hazard, and over 11,000 as significant hazard, according to the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.  Note that those ratings are of potential risk from a dam’s failure, not the structural integrity or condition of a dam.

Safety at the nation’s dams is the focus of National Dam Safety Awareness Day, held each May 31 and coordinated by the Dam Safety Officials Association.  It’s held in memory of the disastrous South Fork Dam failure in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on May 31, 1881, the worst dam failure in the country’s history.  The purpose of the day is to encourage proper oversight of dams, including adequate investment in dam inspection and maintenance.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Dam Safety Awareness Day proclamation for 2019 states that “all owners, governmental officials, first responders, emergency management personnel, downstream residents, and citizens should be aware of the importance of dam safety and the need to properly maintain and operate dams.”  For more information on dam safety in the Commonwealth, visit the “Dam Safety and Floodplains” link at the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Web site, www.dcr.virginia.gov.

SHIP’S BELL

Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close this show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The sounds heard in this episode were recorded on May 6, 2017, at the Little River dam near Radford on January 16, 2017, at the Philpott Dam and Hydroelectric Station near Bassett, Va.; and at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond dam in Blacksburg on March 22, 2016.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

IMAGES

Locations of dams in Virginia. Map from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, “National Inventory of Dams,” online at https://nid-test.sec.usace.army.mil/ords/f?p=105:113:15936782332227::NO.


Dam on the Little River near Radford, Va., May 6, 2017.


Philpott Dam on the Smith River near Bassett, Va., January 16, 2017.


Dam on Stroubles Creek at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, September 30, 2015.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT DAM REGULATION AND CLASSIFICATION IN VIRGINIA 

Dams Subject to the Law


The following information on regulation of dams is quoted from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, “Dam Safety and Floodplains/Dams Subject to the Law,” online at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dam-safety-and-floodplains/dam-safety-index.

“All dams in Virginia are subject to the Dam Safety Act and Dam Safety Regulations unless specifically excluded. A dam is excluded if it [meets one or more of the following criteria]:
is less than six feet high;
has a maximum capacity less than 50 acre-feet and is less than 25 feet in height;
has a maximum capacity of less than 15 acre-feet and is more than 25 feet in height;
is operated primarily for agricultural purposes and has a maximum capacity of less than 100 acre-feet or is less than 25 feet in height (if the use or ownership changes, the dam may be subject to regulation);
is owned or licensed by the federal government;
is operated for mining purposes under 45.1-222 or 45.1-225.1 of the Code of Virginia;
is an obstruction in a canal used to raise or lower water levels.”

Dam Classification - What does it mean? Why does it change?

The following information is quoted from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, “Dam Safety and Floodplains/Dam Safety Classification,” online at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dam-safety-and-floodplains/damclass.

“Virginia impounding structure regulations specify that each dam be classified based on potential loss of human life or property damage if it were to fail. Classification is based on a determination of the effects that a dam failure would likely have on people and property in the downstream inundation zone. Hazard potential classifications descend in order from high to low, high having the greatest potential for adverse downstream impacts in event of failure. This classification is unrelated to the physical condition of the dam or the probability of its failure. The hazard potential classifications are:
High - dams that upon failure would cause probable loss of life or serious economic damage;
Significant - dams that upon failure might cause loss of life or appreciable economic damage;
Low - dams that upon failure would lead to no expected loss of life or significant economic damage. Special criteria: This classification includes dams that upon failure would cause economic damage only to property of the dam owner.

“Safety standards become increasingly more stringent as the potential for adverse impact increases. For example, a high hazard dam--that is, one whose failure would cause probable loss of human life--is required to meet higher standards than a dam whose failure would not be as likely to result in such severe adverse consequences. Classification, however, is not static. Downstream conditions, including land use, can and often do change. Although a dam itself may remain relatively stable, it is subject to reclassification if a change occurs in the downstream inundation zone. For example, if homes are built in the downstream inundation zone of a Low Hazard or Significant Hazard dam, the dam could be reclassified to High Hazard.

“A change in hazard classification can create a dilemma because if a dam is reclassified, it usually does not meet the higher standards of the new hazard classification. To meet the required higher standards, the owner of the dam is often required to make structural modifications. Any dam that does not meet more protective standards of a high hazard dam could become deficient in the future if land use in the downstream inundation zone changes.

“To avoid the need for some of these structural modifications, all affected parties--dam owner, engineer, downstream land owners, and local governments--need to work together. People should be aware of the impacts development downstream can have on the required standards of a dam. It is better and cheaper to address this potential problem beforehand rather than wait and deal with modifications later.”

SOURCES USED FOR AUDIO AND OFFERING MORE INFORMATION

Association of State Dam Safety Officials site, online at https://damsafety.org/NDSAD.

Edwin S. Clay, III, and Patricia Bangs, “From Gristmill to Hydro Power: Virginia’s Dams,” Bacon’s Rebellion, 10/3/05, online at https://www.baconsrebellion.com/archive/issues/05/10-17/Curious.php.

Franklin News-Post, Demolition of old Power Dam in Rocky Mount begins, 8/31/16.

Alison Graham, Jordan's Point dam removed from Maury River in Lexington, Roanoke Times, 5/24/19.

Charles A. Grymes, “Lakes, Dams, and Reservoirs in Virginia,” undated, Virginia Places Web site, online at http://www.virginiaplaces.org/watersheds/dams.html.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Inventory of Dams (2018).

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, “Dam Safety and Floodplains,” online at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dam-safety-and-floodplains/; “Dam Safety Program,” online at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dam-safety-and-floodplains/dam-safety-index.

Virginia Governor’s Office, “Dam Safety Awareness Day” Proclamation, 5/31/19, online at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/proclamations/proclamation/dam-safety-awareness-day.html.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Overall Importance of Water” and “History” subject categories.

Following is a link to an episode on removal in 2004 of the Embrey dam on the Rappahannock River:
Episode 71, 7-11-11 – “Rappahannock Running Free” by Bob Gramann.

Following is a link to an episode on the area around the Philpott Dam:
Episode 360, 3-20-17 – Who Were Smith and Philpott and What Do They Have to Do with Virginia Water?

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or sources—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

2010 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
3.9 – Water cycle, including sources of water, energy driving water cycle, water essential for living things, and water limitations and conservation.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
3.11 – sources of energy.
4.9 – Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment (including resource management and conservation, land use decisions, hazard mitigation, cost/benefit assessments).

Grades K-6 Force, Motion, and Energy Theme
4.2 – characteristics and interactions of moving objects (including that moving objects have kinetic energy).
6.2 – energy sources, transformations, and uses.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.11 – relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Physical Science Course
PS.6 – energy forms, transfer, and transformations.

Earth Science Course
ES.6 – renewable vs. non-renewable resources (including energy resources).
ES.8 – influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.

Biology Course
BIO.8 – dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

Physics Course
PH.6 – mass and energy, including potential and kinetic energy.
PH.7 – energy transfer, transformations, and capacity to do work.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Grades K-3 Economics Theme
2.8 – natural, human, and capital resources.
3.8 – understanding of cultures and of how natural, human, and capital resources are used for goods and services.

Virginia Studies Course
VS.1 – impact of geographic features on people, places, and events in Virginia history.
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

United States History to 1865 Course
USI.5 – factors that shaped colonial America and conditions in the colonies, including how people interacted with the environment to produce goods and service.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 – how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.4 – types and significance of natural, human, and capital resources.

Government Course
GOVT.7 – national government organization and powers.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.15 – role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.
Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Episode 475 (6-3-19): The Chesapeake Bay TMDL Clean-up Continues in Phase III

Click to listen to episode (5:13).

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Extra Information
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 5-31-19.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 3, 2019.

MUSIC – ~12 sec

That’s an excerpt of “Exploring the Rivers,” by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va.  The title refers to 17th-Century journeys by Captain John Smith to explore the Chesapeake Bay and its river tributaries.  In the 21st Century in Virginia and the six other Bay watershed jurisdictions—Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia—public officials and private citizens are on a journey to restore the Bay’s water quality and biological health.  The legal name for that journey is the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL.

Under the federal Clean Water Act, TMDLs are a mechanism for assessing and setting limits on pollutants that prevent water bodies from meeting their legally defined designated uses, such as water supply, support of aquatic life, and recreation.  In December 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, published the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.  Made up of 92 smaller TMDLs for Bay tributaries, the Chesapeake TMDL is the largest one developed by the EPA, covering the largest estuary in North America.  Often referred to as the Bay “clean-up plan” or “pollution diet,” the Bay TMDL sets enforceable limits on the levels in Bay waters of three pollutants—nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment—arising [largely] from agriculture, stormwater runoff, and wastewater treatment.  The Bay TMDL regulatory approach followed voluntary efforts by Bay jurisdictions since 1983 that had fallen short of reaching restoration goals.

The Bay TMDL calls on the seven jurisdictions to have in place by 2025 the practices needed to meet pollutant limits in the Bay and its tributaries.  To achieve this, Bay jurisdictions were required to submit three phases of Watershed Implementation Plans.  Phase III is happening now, and it requires the seven jurisdictions to identify progress they’ve made so far in meeting pollutant reductions, and to specify how they plan to accomplish further reductions needed to meet the TMDL’s 2025 limits.  In Virginia, that work included dozens of public meetings between January 2017 and May 2019.  In April 2019, the jurisdictions submitted their draft Phase III plans to the EPA. The public comment period on those drafts ends June 7, and the final plans are due to the EPA by August 9.

Since the first Bay Agreement in 1983, among Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, DC, and the EPA, Bay watershed partners have been trying, as that agreement states, to “fully address the extent, complexity, and sources of pollutants entering the Bay.”  That’s a long, continuing journey of dialogue, science, compromise, effort, and expense.

Thanks to Timothy Seaman for permission to use this week’s opening music.  We close with about 25 seconds of another musical selection, this one to recognize the long run needed for restoring the Chesapeake Bay.  Here’s part of “The Race,” by the Harrisonburg, Va.-based band, The Steel Wheels.

MUSIC - ~25 sec

SHIP’S BELL

Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This Virginia Water Radio episode is a follow-up to Episode 115, 6/18/12, on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans.

“Exploring the Rivers,” on the 2006 album “Jamestown: On the Edge of a Vast Continent,” is copyright by Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Records, used with permission.  This music was also used in Virginia Water Radio episodes 140, 12-10-12; 334, 9-19-16; and 374, 6-26-17.  More information about Timothy Seaman is available online at http://www.timothyseaman.com/.

“The Race,” on the 2013 album “No More Rain,” is copyright by The Steel Wheels, used with permission.  This music was also used in Virginia Water Radio Episode 460, 2-18-19.  More information about The Steel Wheels is available online at http://www.thesteelwheels.com/.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.

IMAGES

Map of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Map from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL),” accessed online at https://www.epa.gov/chesapeake-bay-tmdl, 6/3/19.


Satellite photo of the Chesapeake Bay. Photo from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) GSFC Landsat/LDCM EPO Team, accessed online at https://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=41423, 6/3/19.


Satellite photo showing a plume of sediment (brown color to right center of photo) flowing into the Chesapeake Bay in September 2011 as a result of Tropical Storm Lee. Photo from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), accessed at the Chesapeake Bay Program, online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/news/blog/satellite_image_shows_sediment_pollution_flowing_into_chesapeake_bay, 6/3/19.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHESAPEAKE BAY TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD (TMDL)

The following information is quoted from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Frequent Questions about the Chesapeake Bay TMDL,” online at https://www.epa.gov/chesapeake-bay-tmdl/frequent-questions-about-chesapeake-bay-tmdl, accessed on 6/3/19.

What is a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)?

“A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a “pollution diet” that identifies the maximum amount of a pollutant a waterway can receive and still meet applicable water quality standards. A TMDL is the sum of wasteload allocations for point sources, load allocations for nonpoint sources, and a margin of safety to account for uncertainty. Point sources include sewage treatment plants, stormwater discharges, industrial discharges, etc. Nonpoint sources include pollutants carried by rainfall runoff from forests, agricultural lands, atmospheric deposition, abandoned land mines, etc.”

What makes the Chesapeake Bay TMDL unique?

“More than 40,000 TMDLs have been completed across the United States, but the Chesapeake Bay TMDL is the largest and most complex thus far. It is designed to achieve significant reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment throughout a 64,000-square-mile watershed that includes seven jurisdictions. Bay jurisdictions include Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“The TMDL is actually a combination of 276 nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment TMDLs for 92 individual Chesapeake Bay tidal segments. Pollution limits are designed to meet applicable water quality standards for dissolved oxygen, water clarity, underwater Bay grasses and chlorophyll-a, an indicator of algae levels.

“The Chesapeake Bay TMDL is unique because of the extensive measures EPA and the jurisdictions adopted to ensure accountability for reducing pollution and meeting target progress dates. The TMDL will be implemented using an accountability framework that guides restoration efforts using four elements. These elements include Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs), two-year milestones, EPA’s tracking and assessment of restoration progress and specific federal actions if jurisdictions do not meet their commitments.

“This accountability framework helps demonstrate the reasonable assurance provisions of the Bay TMDL pursuant to both the Clean Water Act and Chesapeake Bay Executive Order 13508. However, the accountability framework is not part of the Bay TMDL itself.”

Why was a TMDL established for the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries?

“Despite extensive restoration efforts over 25 years, the Bay TMDL was prompted by continued poor water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. The TMDL is required under the Clean Water Act and responds to consent decrees in Virginia and the District of Columbia from the late 1990s. It is also a keystone commitment of a federal strategy to meet President Obama’s Executive Order 13508 to restore and protect the Bay.”

What are the pollutants of concern and what are the sources of pollution?
“Nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment are the pollutants of concern. High levels of these pollutants enter the water from various sources, including agricultural operations, urban runoff, wastewater facilities, septic systems, air pollution, and other sources.”

What are the pollutant limits set by the Chesapeake Bay TMDL?

“The Bay TMDL set annual Bay watershed limits of 185.9 million pounds of nitrogen, 12.5 million pounds of phosphorus, and 6.45 billion pounds of sediment. That represents, based on 2009 levels, a 25 percent reduction in nitrogen, 24 percent reduction in phosphorus and 20 percent reduction in sediment. These limits are divided by state and river basin based on state-of-the-art modeling tools, extensive monitoring data, peer-reviewed science, and close interaction with Bay partners.”

When was the Bay TMDL established and when does the TMDL anticipate the Bay will be restored?

“The Bay TMDL was established on December 29, 2010. The TMDL is designed to ensure that all pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay and its tidal rivers are in place by 2025. EPA expects practices in place by 2017 to meet 60 percent of the necessary reductions.

“While it will take years after 2025 for the Bay and its tributaries to fully heal, EPA expects some areas of the Bay will recover before others. There will be gradual and continued improvement in water quality as controls are put in place around the watershed.”

There have been many TMDLs written in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  How do they relate to this Bay TMDL?

“Previously-approved TMDLs were established to protect local waters. While some were based on reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment, many were for other pollutants. In contrast, the Bay TMDL is based on protecting the Bay and its tidal waters from excessive nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. For waters that have both local TMDLs and Bay TMDLs for nitrogen, phosphorus, and/or sediment, the more stringent of the TMDLs will apply.”

How large is the Chesapeake Bay? How big is the watershed that drains into it? How many people live within the watershed?

“The Bay itself is about 200 miles long, home to more than 3,700 species of plants, fish and other animals. The Bay watershed totals about 64,000 square miles, covering parts of six states and the District of Columbia. It stretches from Cooperstown, New York, to Norfolk, Virginia. Nearly 18 million people live in the watershed, and the population is growing by more than 130,000 each year.”

SOURCES

Used for Audio

Karl Blankenship, Highlights of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed implementation plans, and New state plans reveal tough path to 2025 cleanup goals, both in Bay Journal, May 2019.

Chesapeake Bay Program, online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/. See particularly “Chesapeake Bay Agreement 1983,” online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/what/publications/chesapeake_bay_agreement_-_1983; and “Accomplishments,” online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/what/accomplishments, for information on Bay Agreements in 1987, 2000, and 2014.

Maryland Department of the Environment, “Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP): Development,” online at https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/Water/TMDL/TMDLImplementation/Pages/WIP-3-Vision.aspx.

NOAA/National Ocean Service, “Estuaries,” online at http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/tutorial_estuaries/welcome.html; and “Where is the largest estuary in the United States?” online at https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/chesapeake.html.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL),” online at https://www.epa.gov/chesapeake-bay-tmdl.  See particularly “Chesapeake Bay TMDL Fact Sheet,” online at https://www.epa.gov/chesapeake-bay-tmdl/chesapeake-bay-tmdl-fact-sheet; and “Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plans,” online at https://www.epa.gov/chesapeake-bay-tmdl/chesapeake-bay-watershed-implementation-plans-wips.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Chesapeake Bay TMDL,” online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/ChesapeakeBay/ChesapeakeBayTMDL.aspx; and “Virginia’s Draft Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan,” online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/ChesapeakeBay/ChesapeakeBayTMDL/PhaseIIIWatershedImplementationPlanning.aspx. The latter Web address is the online site for submitting comments on Virginia’s Draft Phase III plan, through June 7, 2019.

Virginia Regulatory Town Hall, online at https://townhall.virginia.gov.  (A May 31, 2019, search at that Web site for “Chesapeake Bay Phase III” yielded 62 meeting entries between January 2017 and May 2019.)

For More Information on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL in Other Bay Jurisdictions

Delaware Division of Watershed Stewardship, “Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan,” online at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/swc/wa/Pages/Chesapeake_Wip.aspx.

District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment, “District of Columbia Chesapeake Bay Program,” online at https://doee.dc.gov/service/chesapeakebayprogram.

Maryland Department of the Environment, “Chesapeake Cleanup Center,” online at https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/Water/TMDL/TMDLImplementation/Pages/cb_tmdl.aspx.

New York Department of Environmental Conservation, “Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program,” online at https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/33279.html.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, “Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Plan,” online at https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Water/Pennsylvania%E2%80%99s%20Chesapeake%20Bay%20Program%20Office/Pages/default.aspx.

West Virginia Chesapeake Bay Program, online at http://www.wvchesapeakebay.us/.

For More Information about the Chesapeake Bay Generally

Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson, Life in the Chesapeake Bay, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2006.

National Park Service, “Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historical Trail, online at https://www.nps.gov/cajo/index.htm; and “Chesapeake Gateways,” online at https://www.nps.gov/chba/planyourvisit/chesapeake-gateways.htm.

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, “Chesapeake Bay Report Card,” online at http://ecoreportcard.org/report-cards/chesapeake-bay/.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science, “Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve,” online at http://www.vims.edu/cbnerr/index.php; and “Virginia Estuarine and Coastal Observing System,” online at http://web2.vims.edu/vecos/Default.aspx.

John Page Williams, Jr., Chesapeake Almanac, Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, Md., 1993.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Rivers, Streams, and Other Surface Water” subject category.

Following are links to other episodes on the Chesapeake Bay.

Episode 115, 6/18/12 – on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans.
Episode 128, 9/17/12 – on Atlantic Menhaden.
Episode 140, 12/10/12 – on Captain John Smith’s exploration of the Chesapeake Bay.
Episode 171, 7/22/13 – on plankton.
Episode 279, 8/24/15 and Episode 280, 9/7/15 – on oysters, nitrogen, and the Chesapeake Bay.
Episode 305, 2/29/16 – on the Bay Barometer and other tools for measuring the Bay’s status.
Episode 325, 7/18/16 – on submerged aquatic vegetation.
Episode 326, 7/25/16 – on estuaries generally.

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or sources—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

2013 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2010 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
3.10 – impacts on survival of species, including effects of human activity, fire, flood, disease, and erosion on organisms.
4.9 – Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment (including resource management and conservation, land use decisions, hazard mitigation, cost/benefit assessments).

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
3.6 – ecosystems, communities, populations, shared resources.
4.5 – ecosystem interactions and human influences on ecosystem.
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.1 – understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science, including current applications to reinforce science concepts.
LS.10 – changes over time in ecosystems, communities, and populations, and factors affecting those changes, including climate changes and catastrophic disturbances.
LS.11 – relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
ES.6 – renewable vs. non-renewable resources (including energy resources).
ES.8 – influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.
ES.10 – ocean processes, interactions, and policies affecting coastal zones, including Chesapeake Bay.

Biology Course
BIO.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
BIO.8 – dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Grades K-3 Economics Theme
3.8 – understanding of cultures and of how natural, human, and capital resources are used for goods and services.

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

United States History to 1865 Course
USI.2 – major land and water features of North America, including their importance in history.
USI.5 – factors that shaped colonial America and conditions in the colonies, including how people interacted with the environment to produce goods and service.

Civics and Economics Course

CE.1 – skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision-making, and responsible citizenship.
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.1 – skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision-making, and responsible citizenship.
WG.2 – how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.3 – how regional landscapes reflect the physical environment and the cultural characteristics of their inhabitants.
WG.4 – types and significance of natural, human, and capital resources.
WG.18 – cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.1 – skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision-making, and responsible citizenship.
GOVT.7 – national government organization and powers.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.15 – role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.