In the 45 years since the Clean Water Act was passed, we have made great strides toward fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waters. The James is arguably one of the rivers that has been the most improved – recently earning a grade of “B-“ in the 2017 State of the James Report.

This Tuesday, November 7th, Virginia will elect our next Virginia Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General as a new House of Delegates. In addition, there are numerous local level elections occurring. Major decisions impacting the James will be made by these officials over the next four years. These decisions will influence whether we continue to make progress towards our restoration goals or whether we fall behind. They will help decide how environmental literacy is incorporated into our children’s education. With stormwater pollution still growing, now is not the time to turn our backs on river restoration, or shy away from teaching our children the importance of being stewards in our watershed.

Your vote is your voice — it’s your opportunity to have a say in important issues that affect your community. Here at the James River Association, we invite you to learn where your candidates stand on the issues that impact the James and remember that Virginia families have a constitutional right to enjoy clean rivers, streams, and beaches. If you’d like to learn more about where the major party candidates for Governor stand on Clean Water, watch the video from our Clean Water Forum.

On November 7th, please keep the James in mind as you head to the polls. If you have questions about voting, please visit the State Board of Elections. Polling places are open on Tuesday, November 7th from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.