Do you plan to hop in a boat or take a jump in the James this summer? Then James River Watch is the program for you! James River Watch is designed to inform river users about recreation conditions in a timely fashion, and to provide the public with an additional tool to get outside and enjoy our waterways safely. While the James River’s health continues to improve, it’s important to remember that rivers are dynamic, changing systems, and it pays to know before you go. Our work received more attention than usual last year – due to a combination of record rainfall and the tremendous work of our volunteers.

Some of you may have noticed the James River Watch data viewer gathering dust over the last few months, but don’t worry! Over the winter, we’ve been investing some serious time and effort into creating a sleek new product that’s easy-on-the-eyes and easier for volunteers. Stay tuned for the rollout of this new website (and other significant efforts…) in April.

Speaking of our busy spring, it’s that time of year again – time to sign up for your annual James River Watch water quality training! These lively events teach you everything you need to be a citizen scientist, helping us measure and improve the health of the James. April is chock-full of training opportunities, and there’s sure to be one in your neck of the woods. If you’re interested in joining one of our teams of volunteers, be sure to sign up!

Returning volunteers need only watch a webinar – which we’ll post to our Water Quality Monitoring page later in the spring – but we ask first-timers to attend one of our in-person trainings. Times, dates, and locations are listed below. Take a look, and sign up here while there’s still space!

4/9/19 – Hopewell 6-8p | Appomattox Regional Library
4/16/19 – Lynchburg 6-8p | James River Adventures
4/17/19 – Williamsburg 6-8p | JRA Williamsburg Office
4/18/19 – Farmville 6-8p | Appomattox River Company
4/23/19 – Goochland 6-8p | Goochland County Admin Bldg.
4/23/19 – Buchanan 6-8p | Twin River Outfitters
4/24/19 – Richmond 6-8p | Triple Crossing Brewery (Fulton)
4/25/19 – Scottsville 6-8p | JRA Scottsville Office
TBD Lexington | Boxerwood Nature Center

To our volunteers – we really couldn’t do it without you. Volunteers play a huge role in helping JRA achieve our mission, and each year James River Watch relies on the help of roughly 75 volunteers spread across the watershed. Last year you all managed to collect 375 bacteria samples – data that have since been viewed by DEQ, VDH, local governments, and you. So thank you for your hard work, let’s build off last year’s efforts, and together we can make sure that 2019 is just as successful!