Blackwater-Nottoway Riverkeeper Program
June 8th, 2016
As recorded by John Bunch, acting Secretary
The monthly BNRP meeting held at The Paul D. Camp Community College Workforce Center had 7 people attending. Board Members were Nancy Turner, Jeff Turner, and Curtis Newsome. Bobby Turner, Felice Hancock, Bill Arrington (a potential new member), and John Bunch (acting Secretary) were also in attendance.
Curtis Newsome opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and then asking that John Bunch read the minutes from the May meeting. They were read and there were no comments. Curtis then asked for a motion to adopt the minutes as they stand. Jeff Turner made that motion and was seconded by Nancy Turner. A vote was taken and the minutes were adopted as were.
Nancy then presented the Treasurer’s Report, saying that expenses for the month of May were $1544.77, revenue was $97.50. Large expense for the month was for the payment to the Tidewater News for running a Clean Rivers Month advertisement. It should be noted that the expense of the Pop-up Rain Cover came in to be $214.95 as opposed to the requested $532.90.
Bobby then gave the membership report saying there are currently 137 members, the addition of two from previous month being 2 resign-ups from last year.
5/15 Two day patrol BW above Burdette. Light trash, no water quality issues. Cool to 40 degrees 1st night.
5/24 Three day patrol Nottoway. Ist test run with new outboard on pontoon boat. Motor ran good still in break in period. Trash heavy for Nottoway, water was high, no water quality issues. Found limb lines belonging to a Jessica Haydu around the Bronco Club area. Most of the lines were secured in the trees, not in the water. Lines were not fished 3 days I was there. They must be removed if not fished daily. Turned that info over to VDGIF.
5/31 Met with Adam Macon from Dogwood Alliance and Kate Sheppard Senior Reporter for Huffington Post news in DC. Discussed Enviva expansion. They have new mills planned at Sampson County NC, Richmond County NC, and Laurens County SC.
6/7 Emailed newly elected City of Franklin Mayor Frank Rabil and explained river gauges and flooding issues. Also informed him that the gauge in Franklin does not forecast predicted river crest, which is very needed capability. Explained how such capability could help minimize property/business damage during a coming flood event.
Checked at Joyners Bridge for TV and other illegally dumped items. Could not locate the TV but there was a large couch at the VDGIF boat landing.
6/8 Ordered drone. DJI Phanton 4. Newest technology available including collision avoidance, follow me, follow target, screen point to destination, GPS plot course, return home, hands off hover and many other capabilities.
Blackwater River at Burdette crested today at around 11 ft. Normal is like 5. At 11ft parts of Joyners Br. road is underwater as is part of the boardwalk in Franklin and the pier at boat landing. At Franklin 3pm water was 4.32 and still rising. Most likely cresting tonight or tomorrow. At 14.8 on Burdette gauge water will be across road at Franklin STP plant according to USGS.
Discovered from being used in Clean Rivers Month that all $800 worth of the new litter getters have defective rubber cup attachments Took pictures and contacted the supplier Arc-Mate. They acknowledged the issue and sent 100 pairs of the good cups. These cups will all need to be replaced by hand.
John Bunch was asked to talk about the Pond Cypresses that he recently found in Southampton County. Before this discovery, there was only a single known specimen in its native state in Virginia, located in the South Quay area. Pond Cypresses are common down south and grow in a bit of a different environment than the common Bald Cypresses. The trees happened to be found while looking for 4 predetermined rare plants (and not the cypresses) that are in association with a project that Natural Heritage/DCR is conducting with the help of the Virginia Master Naturalists. Two of those four rare plants have been located so far. Following the trees discovery a State Botanist was taken to the site for confirmation and now plans are under way for additional visits to better understand this swamp plant community. As it currently stands, these trees are the most northerly growing site for this species.
Jeff asked Bill Arrington about his interests in the group and Bill responded with 2 questions: How do I join? And can he purchase a River Atlas? Both of those questions were taken up with him about the joining and the atlas purchase.
Following this, with no other business, Curtis adjourned the meeting.