James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 5.15'
Flow: 5290 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 7:24am
Low Tide: 3:06pm

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Masses needed to nurture grasses

January 10, 2014 7:13am

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is seeking volunteers to raise underwater bay grasses in their homes, schools, or businesses as part of CBF’s Grasses for the Masses restoration program.  The program puts volunteers to work to help restore underwater grasses, submerged plants vital to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem that have been seriously depleted over the years.

Planting grasses in the Bay.

Planting grasses in the Bay.

Volunteers will attend one of several upcoming workshops in Richmond, Northern Virginia, or Hampton Roads. They will receive a self-contained kit, seeds, and instruction, and then will nurture their grass sprouts until they are mature enough to be transplanted to nearby rivers in late spring. There is a $40 fee per grass growing unit, which includes a one-year CBF membership. Volunteers can register and pay the program fee online.

Workshops will be held in the Richmond area on Jan. 16 and Feb. 1 at the REI store in Glen Allen, and on Feb. 8 at CBF’s downtown Richmond office.

Underwater grasses are among the most critical natural resources in the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. Just as people rely on their immune system to help fight off illness, the Bay relies on a system of underwater grasses to help fight the harmful effects of pollution that is washed into the Bay’s tributaries. The grasses also provide food and shelter for important Bay species, such as blue crabs, fish, and waterfowl.

Unfortunately the Bay’s underwater grasses have been severely depleted by pollution and cloudy water. Volunteers can help restore and heal the Bay by participating in CBF’s Grasses for the Masses program, growing the grasses from seed and later planting them in tributaries of the Bay.

For more information, contact Aimee Bushman at 804-780-1392 or abushman@cbf.org.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?