A report card runs through it: State of the James 2013

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Every two years the James River Association puts out a report card grading the river’s recovery from pollution during the last century.

The 2012 report card appraised the river’s health at a “C” grade. That’s the same letter score it got two years ago, but the overall score of 53% is a 2% increase over the 2011 score.

The detailed report listed the ways that the river is improving, and noted that progress is made where significant commitments and investments have been made, and the shortcomings are duly noted.

The report said the state’s significant investments into waste water treatment and urban storm water pollution focus has helped to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water and increased the growth of underwater grasses.

The report also detailed problem areas, like sediment pollution, which according to the report has shown no improvement over 20 years.

There are mixed results with key wildlife species in the James River. The bald eagle populations are going strong, according to the report, although there has been a decline in striped bass and shad.

Click here to read the full James River Association report:  State of the James, 2013 report.