River Shop benefiting the James River Association

Founded in 1976, the James River Association is the oldest and largest river conservation group in Virginia, and the only organization solely dedicated to protecting and restoring America’s Founding River, the James River. Your purchase helps us to provide a voice for the river, take action on its behalf and to help individuals connect to this amazing natural resource.

More than one-third of all Virginians rely on the James River and its tributaries for water, commerce, and recreation. Our vision is a fully healthy James River supporting thriving communities.  We believe if you change the James, the James will change you.


You can hike it, bike it, swim it, run it or raft it. How you enjoy the James River is up to you.


We’ve taken the river from a D- to a B- in terms of overall health – but we need help to reach our goal of a Grade A James.


Whatever your interests are, there is a role for you in improving the health of the James River.


The James is Virginia’s largest tributary to the Chesapeake Bay, at 340 miles long it is one of the longest rivers in America that begins and ends in the same state.

Enjoy River Stories from across the Watershed

Stories have a power unlike any other to spotlight how our experiences shape who we are, how we relate to one another, and how something – like a river – can connect us in profound ways, both as individuals and as communities. Dive in here.

While our stories may be different, the river that runs through them is a common thread that unites us all. It is our river to share. It is also our river to protect.

Stories of the James is a collection of stories from people across our watershed that show how our river connects and unites us as individuals and communities. Our goal is to feature a number of diverse voices and backgrounds to best represent the many people and communities in our watershed, and we would love to add your story to our collection!

JRA is thrilled to partner with VPM News to bring Stories by the James to the public. Click here to listen to exclusive cuts of storyteller interviews that originally aired in the fall of 2022.

Our sincere thanks to The Tomato Fund and VPM for the opportunity.

James Changing Actions since Earth Day 2019

Your actions make a difference

It has taken over four decades to take the river from one of the nation’s most polluted rivers to one of its most improved.

When you become a James Changer, you are joining a network of passionate and supportive river lovers across the Watershed, from the Alleghany Highlands to the Chesapeake Bay.

We encourage you to seek out your personal passion to help us change the James – and our communities – for the better.

RiverRat Program

We are recruiting the James River’s first line of citizen defense, the RiverRats, who play a vital role in protecting and restoring the James.

Riparian Stewards

Volunteer are needed to nurture & monitor select riparian forest buffers we have installed through our programs.

James River Buffers

Your property may qualify for a buffer planting. 100% of project costs are covered for qualifying landowners.

Living Shorelines

We can help eligible homeowners in the tidal watershed install living shorelines.

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News & Notes

Harvest Rainwater at Home Using a Rain Barrel this Fall!

Rain barrels are an easy way to harvest rainwater and reduce stormwater runoff at home. Did you know a single rain barrel can harvest hundreds, even thousands of gallons of rainwater annually? If you don’t have a rain barrel and are interested in installing a rain...

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