James River Association assigns latest grade to the integrity of the James River

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    Cross-posted from Article XI.

    The James River Association, a nonprofit conservation organization, recently released its biennial report on the health of the James River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. This new report will provide an update to its 2009 report findings.

    In 2009, the James River Association gave the James a C-plus based on habitat assessments, wildlife, and pollution.

    However, in the wake of stark state environmental budget cuts and the possibility of a Republican taking over the Oval Office in 2012, the outlook for improving upon impressive gains made in the James River seem remote.

    While the McDonnell administration reluctantly engaged in the TMDL negotiations with the Environmental Protection Agency in 2010, the administration will no doubt be even less inclined to aggressively spend the money and time on cleaning up a river that many within the Republican Party of VA somehow think is doing fine or simply not worth the expenditures.

    If the McDonnell administration chooses to ignore or deprioritize the cleaning of the James River, it would be an episode of fiscal hypocrisy when you take into consideration the amount of time and money that has been spent already on restoring the James River.

    Virginia has already made a commitment to see one of its state treasures restored. We have to see it through, budget cuts, Republican presidents, or not.