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Water Is Life

Water is Life

Our rivers provide thriving ecosystems that support the food web and have long been the epicenter of communication, trade and thus population centers.

We are celebrating the importance of Virginia’s rivers in providing clean drinking water, habitat for wildlife, and recreational opportunities. Our advocacy for clean water includes fighting coal ash, off shore drilling, and fracking.

The James River Park (Powhatan River in the Algonquin language group) and it's rocky rapids, which begin around the Pony Pasture Rapids Park, marked the border between Algoniquian/Powhatan and Monacan Indian tribes. John Smith traveled this stretch of river near Richmond many times between 1607 and 1609 trading with the natives to support Jamestown. The Monacan town near modern Richmond may have been visited by Captain Christopher Newport and a band of colonists when searching for gold in 1608. After English colonization, the James transported tobacco to Atlantic ports for shipment to Europe. Enslaved people were also shipped to and from Richmond on the James River. Nineteenth and 20th century granite quarries along the fall line of the James River were worked by enslaved people before the Civil War.

By the mid 20th century, the river was a polluted industrial waterway and public access was restricted. Thanks to dedicated citizens and environmental action, the park was formed with conservation easements, the water is cleaner and is used for recreation, and a proposed highway along the south side of the James was thwarted. The James River Park is now over 600 acres and growing. We need your help to continue to fight to keep the James River and other areas of Virginia healthy by supporting the Virginia Chapter work for clean water, air, energy, environmental justice and legislative work!

Sign up for our water related event at Pony Pasture Rapids Park by going to https://vasierra.club/waterweekend
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