April 8, 2009 Meeting Minutes

14 Apr
April 14, 2009

As recorded by John Bunch, Secretary
Curtis Newsome opened the meeting by asking that John Bunch read the minutes from the previous monthly meeting. Minutes were read, motion made by Jeff Turner to adopt, seconded by Nancy Turner, and passed without any changes.

Curtis then asked Nancy for the treasurer’s report. She reported that for March, revenues were $1,314.12, expenses were $5,766.55. It was noted that there had been a funeral request for any donations for Lon Marks to be made to the BNRP. Of the revenue amount, there was $865 from these donations. It was suggested that this money be set aside and be used for future annual conservation awards in Lon’s name. The main expenses for the month were for paying for the new laptop computer, deposit to the River Network for the upcoming Rally, and for liability insurance.
Curtis then asked Bobby Turner for the Membership report. Bobby reported that dues had been paid for 125 members so far for 2009, not with any new members joining, but old members catching up on their memberships.
The meeting had 9 in attendance and the BOD members present were Nancy Turner, Jeff Turner, and Curtis Newsome.

The Riverkeeper Report
As presented by Jeff Turner

On 3/12 – VDGIF is doing mussel studies on both of the rivers and I will be taking divers out Friday April 10th on the Nottoway. Will be getting a quantity and species count and the desire is also to collect a couple of species with the hopes of propagation.
On 3/13 – Contacted the VDGIF about the frequency of boat rigs not having trailer tags. As it turns out, VDGIF has used the database to help understand the frequency of ramp usage.
On 3/16 – Attended Lon Marks funeral – well attended and held in Capron.
On 3/17 – Met with VDGIF CPO Everidge to discuss the complaint from a citizen about a change in the discharge from Franklin’s WTP. That citizen had noticed that the effluent from the plant didn’t look right and when it was called in, the policeman that responded apparently mostly brushed it off. There is now an investigation going on concerning the policeman’s actions or lack thereof.
Attended the Franklin Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Country Club.
On 3/18 – Attended the Old Dominion Electric Co-op (ODEC) meeting in Dendron concerning the proposed coal fired electrical generating plant. This was a large meeting and is still early in the process.
On 3/20 – Attended a three day Virginia Outdoor Writers Association (VOWA) meeting/workshop/banquet that was held in Hampton. It had to do with workshops on writing and photography skills-building. I was invited as a guest and it was mostly a schmoozing meeting and was lavishly provided.
On 3/23 – The sewage problem from Sedley, which is apparently a failing septic system, was revisited by the VDH. Am getting high ammonia hits in the stream sampling.
Attended the Albemarle Pamlico National Estuary Program (APNEP) meeting where I was voted in as a council member. Voted on several school projects and the council awarded $50,000 in grants. There were only 12 applications, 7 were awarded to NC schools and 1 for a VA school (Emporia).
On 3/25 – Picked up the DCR Scenic River exploratory group of Byron Carmean, Jane Hill, Lynn Crump, Bobby Clontz and several others at Zuni after paddling 17 miles on the Blackwater starting at Proctor’s Bridge.
At this point there was pause to give Gretchen Gonzales the floor and what follows is her input:

The Blackwater River is on schedule to be designated as a Scenic River. The group that is
touring the river has not seen it all yet and the next stretch to cover will be from 460 on down.
After that it will be with Jeff on the Pontoon boat from Franklin to the mouth. The group is
happy to have the river atlas to help them and that has been a real goldmine for knowledge.
Hope to have the water trips done by April’s end and the point count so far for the designation
is good.
Curtis then asked, “What will the scenic river designation do to help the river”?
Gretchen responded that it was more a feel good type of thing and it will help with
conservation easement and also that a dam cannot be put on the river. Curtis then expressed the desire to be able to put a boat in at other bridge locations that have been off limits, but this
probably won’t change.
The fieldwork should done in a couple months and then on to the legislative process.

On 3/26 – Gave the Boykins Lion’s Club the presentation of the Living Blackwater & Nottoway Rivers II. They renewed their membership plus an additional $100 donation.
On 4/2 – City of Norfolk replies that they have no plans for updating the rivers’ pumping stations infrastructure and are not interested in moving the pipeline. Sent out a lot of letters concerning this, but so far have heard from no one. This, however, should be upgraded by the year 2015.

This concluded the Riverkeeper Report

Other Items:

– Clean River’s Day – still working on getting people to sign up for areas.

– Gretchen brought up that there will be study for localities to ID bacterial sources as pertaining to the Fecal Coliform origins in the rivers.

– Was brought up about how often Franklin’s WTP overflows during rain events. Wondered if some of the stimulus money could help with solving this problem.

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