Thursday, September 7, 2023


Nathan Thomson, Lead Policy Advocate
James River Association

James River Association Applauds Bipartisan Budget Agreement

Yesterday, September 6, legislators from the General Assembly reconvened and approved an amended version of Virginia’s biennial budget, featuring a record $728 Million in water quality, resilience and land conservation funding. The final budget features a number of longstanding top priorities for the James River Association (JRA), including: 

  • $286 Million for the Natural Resources Commitment Fund to install conservation practices on farmland 
  • $222 Million for wastewater treatment plant upgrades through the Enhanced Nutrient Reduction Certainty Program in FY24
  • $100 Million for the Resilient Virginia Revolving Loan Fund in FY24
  • $30 Million for the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund
  • $16 Million for the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation in FY24
  • $11.5 Million for the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund in FY24, and 
  • $4.55 Million for Soil and Water Conservation District Base Technical Assistance in FY24
  • Additional funding measures related to Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience, Freshwater Mussel Restoration, Environmental Literacy, and the Shoreline Erosion Advisory Service 

“As Virginia approaches the 2025 deadline to meet our Chesapeake Bay goals, critical funding measures, such as the ones put forward by the Governor and the General Assembly, provide the energy that powers the engine of clean water,” said JRA President and CEO Bill Street. “JRA would like to extend our gratitude to the House and Senate legislators and the Governor for these historic investments and their commitment to Virginia’s natural resources.”

“While we are encouraged to see such dedication to our rivers and their watersheds, Virginia must maintain these levels of investment to meet its clean water obligations and ensure a healthy environment for future generations.  We still have a long way to go to achieve Virginia’s goals for agricultural cost share, Richmond’s combined sewer system, as well as storm and wastewater infrastructure.  We look forward to working with the Youngkin administration and General Assembly to address these pressing needs. As we have since 1976, JRA will continue to advocate for the conservation and responsible stewardship of the James River to the benefit of all.”

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. The James River Association believes that “when you change the James, the James changes you”. With offices in Lynchburg, Richmond, Williamsburg, and Scottsville, the James River Association is committed to protecting the James River and connecting people to it. For more information visit