Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Cattle grazing along the bank of the SF Shenandoah River

Spied cattle grazing on the opposite bank of the SF of the Shenandoah River while collecting the water sample at Andy Guest Jr. Shenandoah River State Park. IMG_3737

Public boat ramp at Newport, Stanley VA.

VA DGIF boat ramp located north of Newport on U.S. 340, not looking very inviting.

The North Fork of the Shenandoah River at Meems Bottom

The North Fork of the Shenandoah River at Meems Bottom in Mount Jackson, Virginia

Working from “home” does have some perks…

Yesterday started off just like most – I headed out to collect the water samples for the FOSR’s summer E. coli testing project at public access and recreational use areas on the Main Stem, North Fork, and South Fork of the Shenandoah River and Opequon Creek.  The next several posts are some of what I saw yesterday along the way…

Working from “home” does have some perks

 

FOSR’s 2020 Summer E. coli Results through 05.20.2020

FOSR’s Summer E. coli Testing Project at public access and recreational use areas on the Main Stem, North Fork, and South Fork of the Shenandoah River and Opequon Creek

Up until the middle of last year, Virginia’s water quality standard for freshwater beach advisories or closures was a single sample maximum of 235 E.coli CFU/100 ml of sample.  Virginia no longer has a single sample maximum or any criteria for primary recreational contact in freshwaters.

These are the E. coli concentration results for the water samples that were collected yesterday, Wednesday, May 20, 2020.  In a freshwater system, these data represent a snapshot of the water quality on the date, time, and under the conditions that the water sample was collected.

FOSR 2020 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 05.20.2020

At 1 of the 14 sites tested on Wednesday May 20, 2020 the E. coli levels exceeded the “previous” Virginia Water Quality Standard threshold level of 235 colony-forming units of E. coli per 100 ml of sample for freshwater beaches.  This site was:

  • FW36, Manassas Run, a tributary the feeds into the Main-stem Shenandoah River just upstream of the public boat landing at Morgan’s Ford Bridge on Morgans Ford Road, Warren County

FOSR’s 2020 Summer E. coli Results through 05.14.2020

FOSR’s Summer E. coli Testing Project at public access and recreational use areas on the Main Stem, North Fork, and South Fork of the Shenandoah River and Opequon Creek

These are the E. coli concentration results for the water samples that were collected on Thursday, May 14, 2020.  In a freshwater system, these data represent a snapshot of the water quality on the date, time, and under the conditions that the water sample was collected.

FOSR 2020 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 05.14.2020

Giant Stonefly

This giant stonefly was staking out its territory along the SF Shenandoah River at Raymond R. “Andy” Guest, Jr. Shenandoah River State Park in Warren County.

 

May 14, 2020 Eastside SF Shenandoah River dammed White House Public Boat Landing

05.14.2020 Eastside of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River is now dammed at the White House Public Boat Landing in Page County.  A new boat landing is being built on the opposite side of the river.

East side SF Shenandoah River damned White House Public Boat Landing 05.14.2020

May 8, 2020 Damming of SF Shenandoah River

May 8, 2020: Damming of 45-50% of the east side (river right) of South Fork of the Shenandoah River in Page County at White House public boat launch in preparation for demolition of the 211 westbound bridge.

Damning east side SF Shenandoah River White House Public Boat Landing 05.08.2020

The Friends of the Shenandoah River Celebrates 30 Years of Science

Dear Friend.

In 1989, a group of people who love the Shenandoah River came together. Concerned about the river’s degradation and lack of awareness about the river, they had an idea; Combine the forces of science and volunteers to monitor the river’s health, and then share the story of science throughout the Valley. Knowledge, they said, is power. The Friends of the Shenandoah River was born.

As we celebrate our 30th anniversary this year, we take pride in that we are the longest-term continuous citizen-scientist volunteer source for water quality data in the watershed.   Our data is utilized by local state and federal agencies, educators, other NGOs, and the public. Our laboratory at Shenandoah University sets the gold standard for testing and analysis. Partners that include Friends of the North Fork, Friends of the Middle River, and the Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition rely on us to make sure the quality of our data is unassailable. Our citizen-scientist volunteers monitor sites from, Stuarts Draft VA., to Harpers Ferry, W.VA, once a month!

Little by little, the river is recovering from the industrial pollution of the last century. Although the threats have changed over time, there is still so much to do. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus from both agriculture and population growth can cause excessive algae growth. When the algae die, the decomposition process steals life sustaining oxygen from the water and can release toxic chemicals that pose a threat to fish, other aquatic organisms, wild and domestic animals, and humans.

During the summer months, people are enjoying recreational activities in rivers and streams.  There is the possibility that pathogens that are dangerous to human health are present in these waters.  These pathogens come from agricultural practices, overland run-off, dated and failing septic systems, and overwhelmed wastewater treatment facilities.  Under the recently passed Virginia Code for both the State Water Control Board and VA Dept. of Health, there is no longer any Virginia State agency responsible to inform the public of potential exposure to elevated E. coli levels in freshwater streams and rivers in Virginia! We, however, do perform this important service.

The Friends of the Shenandoah River monitors 16 public recreational and access points along the river weekly during these months for E. coli, which is an indicator for a host of harmful organisms. We then make real-time posts to social media to alert recreational users of potential danger.

We can’t do this without you. Our wonderful river needs the Friends of the Shenandoah River, and the Friends need you. We need your support to be able to continue to provide you with this critical information when recreating in the Shenandoah River.  We need Friends like you, people who want to support our efforts to provide timely, accredited water-quality data that helps to tell the story of the river’s health.

I hope you will join me, along with other Friends of the Shenandoah River, in making a tax-deductible contribution today.    Donations can be made using the following link with PayPal: http://fosr.org/join-us/join/

Your friends on the river,

The Friends of the Shenandoah River Board of Directors

 
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