New river collaboration planned

Published 10:02 pm Friday, March 31, 2017

The Nansemond River Preservation Alliance and other Hampton Roads organizations will announce a new Suffolk community program at a public and free meeting this Tuesday.

“Listening to the River’s Voice” is being held at the C.E.&H. Ruritan Hall, 8881 Eclipse Drive. Attendees may arrive at 6:30 p.m. for social time before the program, which is set to last from 7 to 8 p.m.

The program will detail the launch of a collaborative effort to restore Suffolk’s rivers and creeks between the NRPA, Virginia Department of Health Division of Shellfish Sanitation, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, local watermen and the city of Suffolk.

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“Suffolk waterways have been impaired since 1933,” NRPA president and chief executive officer Elizabeth Taraski said. “Several different approaches to restore the waterways have tried and failed, but this new program that’s going to be launched shows great promise.”

She said Suffolk is a “top priority” for these organizations.

“You have the expertise of all these different organizations coming together and they are going to focus on Suffolk, which is amazing,” she said.

The program will utilize new environmental science developed in recent years at universities by experts.

“Science has changed so much over the years, and scientific knowledge in this area is just expanding,” she said. “This new knowledge is going to be applied in this program.”

The 2016 State of the Nansemond River and its Tributaries Report and Report Card will also be released at the meeting. The report is compiled by the NRPA every two years.

“It educates the community about the current status of the waterways,” Taraski said. “It’s a list of different parameters that characterize the waterways.”

She expects more than 60 community residents to be at the meeting and encourages more to join to them.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet your neighbors, learn more about the rivers and find out what you can do,” she said.

Call 708-6114 for more information.