As recorded by John Bunch, Secretary
Curtis Newsome opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and then asking that John Bunch read the minutes from the previous monthly meeting. Minutes were read, motion made by Jeff Turner to adopt, seconded by Sherry Woodard, and passed without any changes.
Curtis then asked Bobby Turner for the treasurer’s report since Nancy Turner was not present. He reported that for April, revenues were $433.83, expenses were $1771.60. The main expenses for the month were for paying for promotions, taxes, and for water testing equipment. (It should be noted that an additional $238.83 came in for the Lon Marks Memorial Fund bringing that total to $1103.83).
Bobby then moved onto the Membership report. He reported that the group added 2 members since the previous meeting bringing the total to 127.
Jeff Turner welcomed Jay Randolf, Southampton County Assistant Administrator to the group. Jay responded by saying that he has participated on part of the Blackwater Scenic River tour. He also said that he wished to join the group as a member.
The meeting had 12 in attendance and the BOD members present were Sherry Woodard, Mark Smith, Jeff Turner, and Curtis Newsome.
The Riverkeeper Report
As presented by Jeff Turner
On 4/10 – Took divers from the VDGIF on the Nottoway for a mussel dive. Three divers spent most of the day collecting mussels for breeding and study purposes. The location chosen turned out to be a prolific site and plenty were taken back for the study.
On 4/14 – Gave a presentation of the latest Riverkeeper movie to about 25 participants at The Village at Woods Edge. This was the same movie that was seen at the February banquet.
On 4/18 – Clean Rivers Day 2009. Had 109 volunteers that picked up 5,060# of trash. Are looking at moving the date for this in the future, getting away from Spring-break, so there can be more participation from school kids.
History of past year’s trash pickups is as follows:
2001 – 200 volunteers picking up 6000# (3.00 tons) trash
2002 – 150 volunteers picking up 5485# (2.74 tons) trash
2003 – 110 volunteers picking up 6300# (3.15 tons) trash
2004 – 130 volunteers picking up 9240# (4.62 tons) trash
2005 – 100 volunteers picking up 5130# (2.56 tons) trash
2006 – 120 volunteers picking up 7795# (3.89 tons) trash
2007 – 136 volunteers picking up 6291# (3.14 tons) trash
2008 – 110 volunteers picking up 6560# (3.28 tons) trash
2009 – 109 volunteers picking up 5060# (2.53 tons) trash
Total 1056 57,861 28.93
On 4/21 – Investigated a call from DEQ concerning a citizen complaint about black looking, smelly water in Nottoway Swamp at Rt. 58 crossing and Story Station Rd. Did not see or smell anything out of the ordinary.
On 4/23 – Took members of DCR and others on a Scenic River Cruise down the Blackwater to the Mouth. This cruise was the final leg of the survey being done by DCR for Scenic Designation. The General Assembly will have to approve once the point tally results are in. Understand there shouldn’t be a problem with getting the river designated and if the entire 57 mile stretch makes it, then it would be the longest river segment in the state.
Jay mentioned here that a White Oak on part of the stretch took the National Championship for the largest tree of that type.
On 4/24 – Spent 3 days on the Blackwater below Franklin and found no problems. This has been the only river tour since the previous BNRP monthly meeting.
On 5/13 – Served as a panelist at a public forum in Surry (near Dendron) sponsored by the Coalition to Keep Surry Clean (conservation group to fight the construction of the coal-fired power plant). Assisting with the affair was The Student Environmental Action Coalition’s Surry Justice League, Wise Energy for VA, and The League of Conservation Voters.
• myself, speaking about the fish consumption advisories on the Blackwater and the role that Mercury has played in that.
• Glen Besa of the Tidewater Sierra Club, speaking about coal-fired plants
• Tom Cormons from Appalachian Voices speaking about solutions, energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy
• Dr. Chris Llewellyn, a Williamsburg doctor who spoke about health issues, respiratory problems, and birth issues
• David DeBaisi from the American Lung Association spoke about the effects that NOx, SOx, and particulate matter have on communities around power plants.
There were about 100 people in attendance. This was well put together and ran from 5pm to 8pm and questions asked about the effects from burning coal.
This concluded the Riverkeeper Report
– National Safe Boating Week is the week of May 16th – the 22nd.
– Free fishing days (no license needed) is June 5th – 7th.
– The No-Wake Buoy at the Bronco Club on the Nottoway that has been sinking for awhile (due to probably to having been shot at) was replaced. The replacement process is handled through the Sheriff Dept.
– Joined the Virginia Conservation Network on 5/12. Cost only $30 and this will aide Jeff in doing his job.
– John Bunch read the two public notices that were placed in the Tidewater news by International Paper. They concerned IP requesting from DEQ removal of groundwater monitoring wells that are not receiving hits for vanadium, pesticides, and other constituents not found that are specified by permit. Also, requesting approval to adopt new DEQ accepted risk based alternative concentration limits (ACLs) as groundwater protection standards for nickel, copper, and vanadium for its landfill. A couple of questions that were asked were answered.
– Sean Maconaghy said that Ashland Chemical had gotten the work plan approved by the EPA for cleanup and remediation of the pond and its sludge. Waiting now for the State to issue the permit and then would go out for public comment.
– Sherri Woodard announced that the Friends of the Meherrin will be having their river cleanup day this upcoming Saturday (5/16). Starts at 8am and participants to meet at the boat landing parking lot in Emporia.
– Curtis Newsome mentioned that he was aware of two groups that participated on CRD that did not get recorded. Jeff asked that in the future if this happens to make sure they are thanked on behalf of the BNRP.
– Felice Hancock announced a meeting put on by the Navy concerning OLF to be held at the AME Zion Church in Courtland in regards to the proposed Dory Site. Is slated for 5/28 at 7pm.