Homeowners living in the James River basin are invited to join the James River Association (JRA) in celebrating River Hero Home month this March.
Throughout the month, the organization will bring awareness to stormwater runoff and promote ways to stop pollution in individual backyards to improve water quality in the James River.
Stormwater runoff continues to be one of the largest threats facing the James River, according to the JRA. Every time it rains, fertilizers, herbicides, bacteria from pet waste and chemicals flow from properties into local waterways. This pollution can make the James River unsafe for people and wildlife.
Becoming a River Hero Home is an easy way to help protect the James River, the JRA announcement about the program said. Anyone living in the James River basin can join by signing a simple online pledge to protect the James through everyday river-friendly actions like picking up after a pet or reducing lawn fertilizer. While these actions may seem small, when adopted on a wide scale, they can have a significant impact on local water quality, the announcement said.
During the month of March, the James River Association will celebrate existing River Hero Homes and invite other James River watershed residents to join the program. The organization will be hosting a series of workshops, garden tours and rain barrel sales to inspire and empower others to take action toward the shared the goal of a healthy river.
A social media campaign will feature blogs on existing River Hero Home members, tips on choosing native plants and upcoming river-friendly events happening throughout Virginia.
“Even if you can’t see a river or stream from your house, your actions still impact the health of the James River and its tributaries,” said Amber Ellis, Watershed Restoration Manager for the James River Association. “Many people don’t realize that much of the rain water that enters storm drains is not treated. It flows across yards and streets and directly ends up in local waterways.”
Participation in the James River Association’s River Hero Homes program is open to anyone living within the James River basin. More information is available at www.jamesriverhero.org.
The James River Association is a member-supported nonprofit organization founded in 1976 to serve as a guardian and voice for the James River. Throughout the James River’s 10,000-square mile watershed, the James River Association works through its core programs – Education, Community Conservation, Watershed Restoration, River Advocacy and the Riverkeeper Program – to help people of all ages enjoy, appreciate and protect the beauty and health of the James River for future generations to enjoy. For more information visit www.jamesriverassociation.org.