With the 2018 Virginia General Assembly Session over, we wanted to let you know how the James River fared this year. Thank you to those of you that reached out to your legislators to let them know the river is a priority for you. Please sign up for our Action Network to stay engaged!
We helped to defeat, for the second year in a row, a bill which would have put our oyster sanctuaries at risk. We also helped shepherd a commonsense menhaden bill out of committee, but unfortunately, the bill did not advance further. We’ll keep working to ensure that the fisheries important to our ecosystem and economy are healthy moving forward.
This session saw continued debate on the topic of coal ash and we have ended with a moratorium on the issuance of permits for another year as well as a requirement for Dominion to continue to investigate recycling as an option for closing ash ponds. We will continue to work with stakeholders on this issue to ensure that our groundwater and surface water is protected with long term solutions.
Even though the General Assembly has left Richmond, there is one large issue left to tackle: Virginia’s Budget. The Senate of Virginia and the House of Delegates have proposed their own versions of the budget to go along with Governor McAuliffe’s outgoing budget. They will return to Richmond on April 11th and hopefully come to agreement on the terms of the final budget. Until then, we need you to tell your representatives that the James River is a priority for you. Below, we have highlighted our priorities at this stage – please help us convey this message to your representatives!
SUPPORT Governor McAulliffe’s proposed $4.5 million per year for the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation and $2 million per year for the Virginia Outdoors Foundation
SUPPORT the Senate’s proposed $20 million for the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.
SUPPORT maintaining funding in the House and Senate budget, as well as the Senate’s proposed stable funding from the unrefunded marine fuel sales tax revenue.
- Environmental Education
SUPPORT Governor McAuliffe’s proposed $250,000 per year for Environmental Education.
SUPPORT the Senate’s proposed funding for oyster restoration and replenishment, dividing the funding evenly between the two.
Thank you again for being engaged with your legislators on James River priorities – it is through your voices that the river is heard!