April 5th, 2019

Jamie Brunkow
Riverkeeper and Senior Advocacy Manager
(757) 634-4541

Governor Northam’s Draft Chesapeake Bay Restoration Plan Charts a
Course Towards a Grade A James River

Today, Governor Ralph Northam released for review Virginia’s draft plan for meeting our Chesapeake Bay Cleanup goals by 2025. This plan, the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan, will outline the federal, state, and local actions needed between now and 2025 to ensure that all necessary practices are in place to achieve Virginia’s pollution reduction targets and restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

“We applaud the Governor, Secretary of Natural Resources, and their staff for the thoughtful process which produced the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan using the latest science and taking into consideration the expertise of local stakeholders,” said Bill Street, Chief Executive Officer of the James River Association. “According to the 2017 State of the James report, the James River improved ten points in ten years to a B-, thanks in great part to the restoration actions called for under the first two phases of the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup plan. But Virginia has more work to do to meet our pollution reduction goals by 2025, and the strength of this plan will be critical to our success.”

Improved river health has been a major economic driver for communities across the Commonwealth. The draft plan prioritizes restoration practices that achieve co-benefits like soil health and habitat restoration, as well as flood mitigation and coastal resilience, important needs in the face of a changing climate. The plan also identifies fifty state policy initiatives and resource needs essential to meeting Virginia’s pollution reduction goals on time.

“Homeowners and farmers, cities and counties, wastewater utilities and local businesses – everyone has a role to play in restoring our Bay through proven and cost-effective actions that keep pollution from reaching our waterways,” said Jamie Brunkow, James Riverkeeper for the James River Association.

“We look forward to carefully reviewing the proposed plan to ensure that it has everything Virginia needs to clean up the Bay and all of its tributaries, including the James River,” said Brunkow. “And we stand ready to do our part to support sound policies that restore clean water and help our watershed communities thrive.”


ABOUT THE JAMES RIVER ASSOCIATION: The James River Association is a member-supported nonprofit organization founded in 1976 to serve as a guardian and voice for the James River. Throughout the James River’s 10,000-square mile watershed, the James River Association works toward its vision of a fully healthy James River supporting thriving communities. With offices in Lynchburg, Richmond and Williamsburg, the James River Association is committed to protecting the James River and connecting people to it. For more information visit