January 11, 2012 Meeting Minutes

16 Jan
January 16, 2012

Recorded by Felice Hancock, Secretary

The meeting had 8 members present, with Board of Directors attending as follows: Jeff Turner, Nancy Turner, and Anne Parker.  Guests attending included Byron Carmean of Suffolk (whose interests include river recreation and native plants) and the Southampton Assistant Administrator, Jon Mendenhall.

Jeff Turner opened the meeting with a welcome and requested that the minutes from December be read.  Jeff Turner then motioned that the minutes be approved, and the motion was seconded by Nancy Turner.  Minutes were passed.

Jeff Turner next requested that Nancy Turner give the Treasurer’s report.  Nancy handed out a corrected copy of the November report, in that the 11/16/2011 expenditure for the dues to the Waterkeeper Alliance was the recipient and not the River Network as previously listed.                           Next Nancy reported on December’s Treasurer’s report with revenue of $1,605.54; expenses of $655.07.

Bobby Turner gave the Membership Secretary’s report noting 137 members, same as previous month.  Jeff Turner next discussed whether to mail a BNRP Newsletter summarizing 2011 activities with the membership renewals.  Decision was made NOT to combine this mailing so recipients would focus on renewals.

Riverkeeper Report

Riverkeeper Report by Jeff Turner

12/15 Conversations with Todd Herbert DCR on Garden Club Project for naturalistic plantings which would require little maintenance.

12/19 Received Elm Foundation/Camp grants in the amount of $16,400. Thank you letters are sent.

12/30 Spent 3 days on Blackwater below Steel Bridge.  City of Norfolk doing work to stabilize shoreline.  Permits are in order according to DEQ and the USACE and after numerous conversations with both agencies; I was assured no capital improvements to intake are being made. Have requested Norfolk post online river pump station active/non-active status.

2011 Totals:

*  Twelve Eco-Cruises with 101 passengers.

*  Twenty-one 2, 3 or 4 day river patrols for a total of 59 days.  Riverkeeper high is 90 days during 2001 & 2002 and low of 26 in 2010.  These figures do not include day trips and networking with other agencies on the rivers.

*  19 Bald Eagle sightings.

*  Adopt a Stream 6153 pounds from Clean River Day plus 605 lbs collected from me for a grand total of 6758 lbs.

1/04 Conversations with VDGIF Biologist Eric Brittle concerning sores on fish — still no explanation.  Believed to be caused by stress via aftermath of Hurricane Irene, the ailment is not passing and also occurring on the Chowan, although not seen as often on the Nottoway.

1/07 Conversations with VMRC and VDGIF on application for river logging by Francis Widmeyer.  State agencies are developing regulations with possibly no disturbing of river-bottom habitats and removal of only pre-sawed logs which had become submerged (not any timber which fell into the rivers naturally).

1/10 Presentation of second BNRP movie to the Franklin Literary Club. Approximately 20 club members in attendance.

1/11 Asked to be a judge for the 2012 WHRO Community Impact Awards.  In 2011 the BNRP received the award in the Environmental Category.

Check up of DEQ consent order with town of Blackstone. In 2009 through 2010 the town had numerous non-permitted discharges from the waste water treatment plant and numerous late reporting of those discharges. They were fined $66,625 with payment of $49,875 from the fine to be satisfied by the town completing a SEP/Supplemental Environmental Project that will address the wwtp issues.  According to DEQ’s Jeffrey Hurst:  “To date, the town has met all the scheduled milestones of that Order.  We are still in the early stages of the Order, but I assure you that the Town is making positive strides towards identifying, addressing, and correcting those problems.”

New Business

Vote on 2012 slate of BNRP Officers proposed at the December meeting.   With no objection from anyone in the community or those present, the 2012 Slate of Officers consists of:

Jeff Turner, Riverkeeper/Executive Director

Curtis Newsome, Chairman-Board of Directors

Sherrie Woodard, Vice-Chairman-Board of Directors

Nancy Turner, Treasurer-Board of Directors

Anne Parker, Board of Directors

Felice Hancock, Secretary

Bobby Turner, Membership

New BNRP video is about ready.  It differs from the first video with emphasis on Riverkeeper’s duties and “trials” (vs. wildlife along the rivers and in the rivers), and includes the VDIF’s freshwater mussel seeding project.

Banquet/ Lon Marks Award.  It is agreed to hold a banquet/award this year, with it being held after March or later.

New BNRP boat has been proposed as the small motor boat is 38 years and requires monthly “fixing”.   A couple groups have come forward to offer financial assistance for a new vessel.  First step will be to determine type of vessel, any customization, and cost.

Other Business

Sean M. Maconaghy, EHS Manager for the Ashland Water Technologies, reported on the installation of a natural gas line, which will be ready in 3-4 weeks.  This pipe line will also head to the industrial Turner Track in Southampton County.

Anne Parker reminded everyone about the Hampton Roads Planning Commission area being selected by “Keep American Beautiful” campaign as the national kick-off area for the Great American Clean-up during April 27-28, which will involve 32,000 communities across the U.S.A.  The BNRP could easily participate as the annual Clean Rivers Day will be on April 28.

Parker stressed contacting your VA State Legislative Representatives (State Delegate and Senator) in regards to concerns about the proposed uranium mining.   Also, Parker handed out information on the “Conservation Lobby Day 2012” from the VA Conservation Network for January 23 at 8:00 am.

No further items, Jeff Turner concluded the meeting.

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