In the coming weeks, Virginia’s House and Senate Agriculture Committees will take up two bills that could have major impacts on the health of the James River and the Chesapeake Bay. We need your help to show Committee members that these bills are important to the James and their constituents:
HB1422 / SB 704 - Chesapeake Bay Watershed Stewardship Act
To meet our Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals on time and restore our waterways, we need to pick up the pace in reducing pollution from Virginia farmlands. Two of the most impactful and cost-effective agricultural conservation practices, nutrient management plans and fencing cattle out of streams, can also provide benefits for farmers. This bill sets deadlines for implementing these practices and encourages farmers to sign up for funding to pay for installation.
HB 1448 / SB 791 - Responsible Fisheries Management Act
Harvesting menhaden needs to be sustainably managed for the future of the fish, the fishery, and the ecosystem. Fifteen Atlantic states work together to manage our fisheries for the long term by setting catch limits that prevent overfishing, but Virginia has exceeded those limits by 33 million pounds. That’s a big problem, because our Bay serves as a nursery for young menhaden. Menhaden is the only saltwater fish to be governed directly by the General Assembly, not the scientists at Virginia’s Marine Resources Commission. This bill gives VMRC the authority to manage menhaden so, moving forward, we can make sure Virginia stays in compliance.
Help us ask legislators to support these upcoming James-Changing bills in the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.