Every summer since 2013, the James River Association (JRA) prepares for river season by recruiting volunteers all across the watershed to monitor water quality and release real-time results to the public on a weekly basis. Through these efforts, river-goers can stay informed about river conditions before they consider swimming, paddling, or boating on the James.
The program, called James River Watch, has expanded over the past eleven years since it first began, and JRA currently reports results from 35 locations along the river with the help of volunteers and partners. Approximately 90 volunteers have signed up to monitor water quality during the 2022 season, which runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, in partnership with Rivanna Conservation Alliance, American Water, Virginia State University, Virginia Master Naturalist-Peninsula Chapter, Appomattox River Company and Twin River Outfitters.
James River Watch volunteers take water samples every Thursday to track measurements of water temperature, air temperature, turbidity (or cloudiness), conductivity (or saltiness) and bacteria. High levels of fecal coliform bacteria can indicate presence of pathogens harmful to human health, which can affect river user safety.
Each of these measurements are displayed and updated on Friday through the program’s online platform, along with additional stage and flow readings and predictions compiled from NOAA and USGS stream gauges. All together, the careful design of the James River Watch website acts as a quick and easy reference for river users to determine the latest river conditions by assimilating multiple data sources all in one place.
“Paddling, fishing, and swimming are common summer pastimes for the folks in the James River Watershed, but it’s important to be informed about river conditions to make sure you are being safe while out on the river,” said Erin Reilly, JRA’s Senior Staff Scientist. “James River Watch conveniently pulls that information together in one place. I personally use it all the time to plan my time at the river.”
During the 2021 river season, James River Watch revealed a 83% pass rate, with 9 sites passing 100% of the time. These sites included the Scottsville Boat Ramp, Tucker Park at Maidens Crossing, Robious Landing, Pony Pasture, Hopewell at Route 10, Jamestown Beach, College Creek Beach, Riverside Beach, and Hampton Marina.
Two sites, College Landing Park and Powhatan Creek, raised concern for JRA staff in 2021 due to high rates of failure. In seeking answers for these sites’ high failure rate, JRA staff are working with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, the City of Williamsburg and James City County. Additional testing has made human sewage or leaky pipes an unlikely cause, and points to a more likely source as an upstream beaver dam or dog waste.
James River Watch is a reflection of JRA’s mission, which includes protecting the river and connecting people to the river. Along with water quality monitoring, JRA provides additional opportunities for community members to help keep the river healthy and reduce the amount of bacteria flowing to our waterways. River lovers can become a River Hero Home by pledging to adopt river-friendly behaviors at home, join JRA’s Action Network to raise their voices for clean water funding, or receive training to be a RiverRat, JRA’s first line of defense for patrolling potential pollution sources and other important river activity.
New for 2022, river users can sign up to receive an email each week after results are posted on the James River Watch website. To sign up and learn more, visit www.jamesriverwatch.org, or contact Erin Reilly, JRA Senior Staff Scientist, at [email protected].
Enjoy Lunch Discussing Sharks and Dinosaurs at the Science Museum of Virginia
The Science Museum of Virginia’s free, noon-time Lunch Break Science series features two speakers focusing on shark-related topics and one speaker highlighting dinosaur skin this month.
The Science Museum of Virginia’s free, noon-time Lunch Break Science series features two speakers focusing on shark-related topics and one speaker highlighting dinosaur skin this month. The Science Museum hosts a different speaker each Wednesday for a one-hour talk on a science, technology, engineering or math topic.
The Science Museum is celebrating all things sharks and skin this summer as they’re hosting the touring exhibitions “Planet Shark: Predator or Prey” and “Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity.” Lunch Break Sciences are one of the many extra program offerings the Science Museum is featuring to encourage guests to learn more about fascinating scientific elements of animals and humans.
Guests can attend the following Lunch Break Science presentations:
- July 6: “Why Sharks Matter: A Conversation,” presented by author and marine conservation biologist Dr. David Shiffman
- July 13: “Dinosaur Skin: Much More than Just Scales,” presented by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Christophe Hendrickx
- July 27: “Swimming with Sharks: Saving the Ocean’s Most Misunderstood Creature,” presented by shark naturalist and underwater photographer Tanya Houppermans
Guests of all ages are welcome at Lunch Break Sciences, but the content is geared to an adult audience.
Shiffman and Houppermans will be presenting in person. Shiffman will also host a book signing of his latest book, “Why Sharks Matter: A Deep Dive with the World’s Most Misunderstood Predator,” after his July 6 talk. On July 13, Hendrickx will present via Zoom from Argentina.
Lunch Break Sciences are free. Guests do not need to purchase Science Museum admission to attend, but do need to check in at Guest Services when they arrive.
Lunch Break Science events take place in the Science Museum’s Barbara Thalhimer Theater. Seating is first-come, first-served. The theater seats 125 guests.
As the name suggests, guests are welcome to bring food and drink to enjoy during Lunch Break Science. For guests who would like to purchase food onsite, the Science Museum has vending machines near the Rotunda and grab-and-go items in the café.
Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23220
Cowardin Avenue & Bainbridge Street Hit and Run
The victim was attempting to cross the road and was struck by what eyewitnesses describe to be a dark color, purple/blue, older model sedan with distinctive wheel rims.
Saturday, July 2, at approximately 10:35 p.m., the Richmond Police Crash Team investigators responded to the intersection of Cowardin Avenue & Bainbridge Street for the report of a hit and run.
Investigators arrived and found an adult female pedestrian down and in the roadway. She was attempting to cross the road and was struck by what eyewitnesses describe to be a dark color, purple/blue, older model sedan with distinctive wheel rims. Investigators suspect the vehicle has frontend damage and was last seen headed north on Cowardin Avenue.
She was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries.
Anyone with further information about this incident is asked to contact RPD Crash Team Investigator W. Kress at 804-646-0280 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.
Shootings on July 3rd and Early July 4th Result in a Death and Six Injuries
Two separate unrelated incidents occurred. One at City Dogs in the Fan and another near Cyber Café on Broad Street.
West Main Street Death Investigation
Sunday, July 3, at approximately 10:26 p.m., officers were called to the 1300 block of West Main Street for the report of random gunfire. RPD officers responded and located an adult male with an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.
Anyone with information about this death investigation is asked to contact
Major Crimes Detective A. Coates at (804)-646-0729 or Crime Stoppers at
(804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.
This RVA/Reddit thread has some unconfirmed details and first-hand reports on the City Dogs shooting.
Update July 5th:
Arrest Made, Victim Identified in West Main Street Homicide and Aggravated Assaults
The Richmond Police Department has charged the suspect in yesterday’s shootings on West Main Street. Derrick Adjei, 24, of Alexandria, Virginia, was taken into custody by Virginia State Police last night at approximately 11:01 p.m. after the vehicle Adjei had been operating was involved in a single vehicle collision on northbound I-95.
RPD detectives, investigating the West Main Street shooting, have charged Adjei with malicious wounding. Other charges are pending. A booking photo of Adjei is not yet available.
Detectives have identified the victim of the shooting as Kyle Stoner, 36, of Richmond. Sunday at approximately 10:28 p.m., officers were called to the 1300 block of West Main Street for the report of a shooting. RPD officers responded and located an adult male, Stoner, on a patio of a business, down and unresponsive suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.
An adult female and an adult male were also injured during the incident and have received treatment for injuries that were not considered life threatening.
Anyone with further information about this incident is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective A. Coates at (804)-646-0729 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.
West Broad Street Shooting
At approximately 3:39 a.m., Richmond Police officers responded to the report of random gunfire in the 00 block of West Broad Street. Six people were reported shot near the Cyber Café, an after-hours club including four adult males and two adult females.
Of the six who sustained gunshot wounds, two are considered life-threatening and four non-life threatening. One man was transported by ambulance, others were self-transported to the hospital for treatment.
There is no public threat at this time.
Anyone with information about this shooting investigation is asked to call Detective Reyes at (804) 646-3874 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.