Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper Program October Minutes

14 Oct
October 14, 2011

October 12, 2011 as recorded by Felice Hancock, Secretary
The meeting had 9 members present, with Board of Directors attending as follows: Curtis Newsome, Jeff Turner, Nancy Turner, and Anne Parker.
Curtis Newsome opened the meeting with a welcome and requested that the Minutes from September be read. Jeff Turner motioned the minutes be approved, seconded by Anne Parker; minutes were passed.
Newsome then requested that Nancy Turner give the Treasurer’s report. September revenue was $95.49; expenses were $1,803.92.
Bobby Turner gave the Membership Secretary’s report noting that there are no new members with membership standing at 133. This is down several members from last year. Suggestion made by Anne Parker to “recruit” additional members for next calendar year as 2012 is fast approaching.

Riverkeeper Report
Riverkeeper Report presented by Jeff Turner

9/27 Had discussions with Jay Greenwood, Superintendent of Merchants Millpond, and John Kleopfer, VDGIF Biologist, concerning Northern movement of gators from North Carolina.

10/2 Spent 3 days on Nottoway River below the narrows. Picked up two large bags of trash. Recovered and destroyed a commercial turtle trap releasing the living turtles that were trapped. Snapping turtles can be harvested legally from June 1st until October 1st. Five per day is the limit. Caught a 19 and 30 pound blue catfish. The 30 pounds is the biggest I have ever caught.

10/7 Have contacted James Carter and Ronald Patton from Norfolk Southern Railroad to clear log jams at the NS trestles in Courtland and in Franklin. Update on 10/12 is that they said they had removed most of it from Courtland trestle and would get the rest very soon.

10/8 Two Eco-Cruises on Blackwater River with the local Virginia Naturalist Program trainees. Total of 18 boarded the two cruises. Plenty of wildlife was visible including a baby cottonmouth.

10/10 Attended VFH meeting in Suffolk at the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society headquarters the Dawson-Phillips House built around 1881. Among the discussion was the comment that several area residents believe the Blackwater is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

10/12 Freezing Deer and I picked up 250 pounds of trash from both Backwater and Nottoway Rivers for the International Intercoastal Clean-up.

New Business

New water testing equipment has been delivered and John Bunch (BNRP member and Virginia Naturalist trainee) is working with two other people from the Virginia Naturalist Program to help with our water-testing program. Geoffrey Payne has already been trained and made his first report; Dick Gilbert is the other trainee.

No “No Fishing” Signs yet at Sewage Treatment Plant at Franklin.

Anne Parker reported that the shrub trash block at Sewage Treatment Plant and big trash can has not been placed. There is money budgeted for these improvements in the City of Franklin and she will inquire.

New audio feature for the Riverkeeper Report on the BNRP Website and Tidewater News online column. The first recording is the baying of coyotes heard during the most recent Riverkeeper campout.
No new word on the pier project from the City of Franklin.
The BNRP now has another case of The Blackwater, Nottoway and Meherrin Rivers Atlas (2006), about 40 copies.

Other Business
Sean M. Maconaghy, EHS Manager for the Ashland Water Technologies, reported on the settlement with the USEPA from their multimedia inspection which occurred in 2005. Maconaghy clarified the basis for the settlement fines which were assessed against Hercules, Eastman and GEO and elaborated on some of the reporting errors which were in the Virginia Pilot Newspaper article on 10/6/2011. It was also noted that the plant did address the issues raised during the inspection and had them corrected before USEPA ever published the final report. Sean also stated that the plant recently went 1-year with out a VPDES permit exceedance as of 9/16/2011 and also celebrated 2-years of going injury free on 8/23/2011.
No further items, Curtis Newsome concluded the meeting.

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