Reports and Studies

James River Association Annual Impact Reports

The close of 2021 marks the completion of James River Association’s 45th year of protecting America’s Founding River.

When we began as a small band of concerned neighbors in 1976, the James River was in its worst health ever grabbing national headlines with toxic contamination from kepone and the entire tidal river being shut down to any kind of fishing. The same river that the Jamestown settlers fished to stay alive had become too toxic for human consumption.

Over the next four decades, the James River Association became a leading voice for the river and the people who care about it. Over our history, we have seen steady improvements to the health of the river. Our 2015 State of the James gave the river’s health an overall grade of a “B-.” This is the river’s highest mark since we started tracking the data and likely the best score since the first part of the 20th century.

The James River is already a vital asset, and its importance will only increase as water becomes one of the most critical issues of the 21st century. From the 45 years of progress since the darkest days on the James River, we know that clean water is no accident and it is not free. Everyone will need to do their part. Thank you for doing yours by being a part of the James River Association.

The State of the James provides a report card on the ongoing effort to bring the James River back to full health. This comprehensive assessment of the health of the river is published every two years.