If hard, rewarding work is calling you …

Join our team to help protect and preserve Virginia’s most vital resource. Our staff works hard to nurture the James, enjoy the James, and restore the river we love.

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountains and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

Staff picking up tires

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. JRA’s mission is to be the guardian of the James River – to provide a voice for the river and take action to promote conservation and responsible stewardship of its natural resources. To accomplish our mission, JRA’s two strategic goals include: 1) Achieving a fully healthy James River; and 2) Helping communities within the watershed realize the benefits from a healthy James River and support protecting it.

Assistant Coastal Restoration Director

The James River Association is seeking a full-time Assistant Coastal Restoration Director to lead its restoration efforts in the Lower James River Watershed (based in our Williamsburg office).

Position Summary:

The Assistant Coastal Restoration Director will lead JRA’s efforts to protect and restore the James River in the lower James region of the watershed. This is a hybrid position, with work being performed at home, in the Williamsburg office and in the surrounding community.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Essential duties and responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Serve as the convener for the Living Shoreline Collaborative (LSC) which includes administrative tasks associated with working with partners to hold field visits; capacity building workshops for localities, designers, and contractors; partner meetings; and Annual LSC Summits that bring regional partners together for training and knowledge-sharing.
  • Lead the vision for JRA’s coastal restoration efforts in the Lower James River watershed including annual work plans, long term strategy, tracking progress, and identifying funding and partnership opportunities
  • Oversee and manage JRA team members working on coastal restoration projects such as the Living Shoreline Cost-Share Program and green infrastructure projects.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, watershed conservation groups, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), local governments, and other regional partners.
  • Assist with living shoreline plantings, tree plantings, and other restoration events in the Lower James watershed.
  • Participate in regional stakeholder meetings around resiliency and nature-based strategies in the Lower James region.
  • Work with staff on grant applications, grant reports, and associated budgets for a coast restoration program
  • May assist with other outreach in Lower James
  • Speak at and attend a variety of local outreach events and engagements


A successful candidate will possess the following:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a related science, natural resource-related field, or over 5 years of equivalent experience.
  • Familiarity with principles of watershed management, sea level rise, stormwater, and water quality issues, particularly related to the James River.
  • Familiarity with the Permitting process for living shoreline projects
  • Comfort and flexibility in working with a variety of people, including urban and rural populations, local governments, citizens, volunteers, and other conservation groups.
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills and ability to work independently in a deadline-driven environment.
  • Experience in grant writing and project management (preferred, but not required).
  • A valid driver’s license and the ability to travel throughout the James River watershed, particularly within the Lower James region.
  • Computer skills, particularly in word processing and record-keeping (Microsoft Word and Excel), and familiarity with internet communication and search tools, GIS
  • Comfortable being a spokesperson for JRA
  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects, budgets, volunteers, and meet deadlines

A successful candidate is someone who is willing to spend time both in the office to coordinate partners and handle reporting, as well as in the field to visit sites and oversee the installation of living shoreline projects. The ratio is approximately 75% in our Williamsburg office (or at home) and 25% in the field. The Assistant Coastal Restoration Director will report to the Vice President of Programs, who is based out of JRA’s Headquarters office in Richmond.


JRA offers a dynamic and flexible work environment.  This is a full-time, exempt position. A generous and comprehensive benefits package is provided, including 4 weeks of PTO, 12 paid holidays, 4% 401(k) match, fully paid employee only health and dental coverage, Life and LTD insurance. Salary will be commensurate with experience; expected salary range $55-58k.  JRA is an equal opportunity employer.  To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter by email to admin@thejamesriver.org.

Resumes will be reviewed as they are received.  The position will remain open until filled. Interviews will be scheduled with qualified candidates starting June 20, 2023. Otherwise, no calls or visits, please.