As we approach the midpoint of the General Assembly session, the House and Senate money committees are preparing their versions of the budget. Here at the James River Association we have three main funding priorities: stormwater, agriculture, and land conservation.

In order to reach our goals for a fully healthy James River and fulfill Virginia’s constitutional commitment to protecting our waters from pollution, we urge support for the following critical actions:

Urban Water Quality Initiatives
Virginia has made significant investments in water quality over the last two decades resulting in major pollution reductions and improvements to local water quality. But urban stormwater is the only pollution source that is still growing. In order to stop this upward trend, it is important for Virginia to make investments in the critical water quality need.

  • SUPPORT $50 million in bonds for the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund
    Budget amendment Items C-45 #1h, #1s, #2h (Hanger, Landes and Bulova)

Support Farmers & Clean Water
Agriculture is the largest industry in Virginia. It is important to work with members of the agricultural community to reach solutions that help to restore the James River and support local farming operations. We need a mechanism to sustainably fund these practices and the technical staff that provides them.

  • SUPPORT agricultural funding to meet water quality needs
    Budget amendment Items 362 #1s, #2s, #2h (Hanger, Landes, Lewis, and Webert)
  • SUPPORT a sustainable funding mechanism for agricultural best management practices
    Budget amendment Items 362 #1s, #2s and #8h (Hanger and Landes)

Protecting Virginia’s Vital Lands
Did you know that investments in land conservation, such as state parks and other open spaces, provide significant economic benefits to communities in Virginia? These benefits include increased opportunities for outdoor recreation and tourism, attraction and retention of businesses and skilled workers, improved water quality, enhanced property values, reduced costs of community services, and support for the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries.

  • SUPPORT funding for Land Conservation
    Budget Amendments for Item 363 #5s, #13s, #2h (Hanger, Howell, and Krizek)

The James River needs you to speak up for key water quality programs! Contact the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance Committee and ask them to support the budget amendments above.

You can also sign up for our Action Network so you can stay engaged on this and other important issues related to the river.