Tidewater Current





Original Content & Curated News Featuring Sustainable Endeavors in Coastal Virginia & beyond.

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U.S. Navy photo by Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Jeremy Stevens/Released

Film Makers Address the Climate Conundrum

Critically acclaimed documentarians are focusing their cameras on what is considered by many as the most gripping issue of our time: Climate Change. The goal of three separate projects is to inspire audiences to respond to the global threat. Two of the productions recently had film crews in Tidewater, while another was just released nationally with a Virginia debut planned in Norfolk this week. Read More.

Image: Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is piped aboard USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), Norfolk, VA June 8, 2016/U.S. Navy photo by Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Jeremy Stevens/Released

CORRT Grow Oyster ReefsCopying Nature:  Biomimicry in Oyster Reef Restoration

Nonprofit and government agencies led by the Army Corps of Engineers have mobilized oyster restoration efforts. There’s just one problem. There is a shortage of natural shell to rebuild reefs. According to Jim Wesson of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, “the price of shell has tripled over the last five years.” With high demand for shell for oyster aquaculture and limited supply available, the VMRC recommends the use of artificial substrate for sanctuary reefs which are not harvested.  A new and unique reef material developed by an award winning Charlottesville architect and entrepreneur, looks to be a promising product to help fill the void. Read More - Image: Grow Oyster Reefs

vdhResources & Apps for Enjoying Nature in and around Coastal Virginia

There are many opportunities to get out an experience nature in the region. From pollinator gardening in your own backyard to venturing further afield, a whole host of free resources and apps are available to help residents and visitors enjoy the great outdoors in person or virtually. Highlighted in this feature are programs that share useful environmental info for touring, fishing, hiking, and paddling.

Read More | Image: Water Quality Swim Advisories VDH

Sowing the Seeds of Change:
Revolutionary Crop Cultivation in Virginia

There’s good news for the struggling small farmers of the Commonwealth.  Historically significant cash crops could make a comeback. Once ubiquitous in fields across the state, hemp and tobacco are ripe for a renaissance. New eco-friendly products created from these crops could redeem their marred reputations and increase farmers' opportunities to cultivate cash crops well suited to the region.  They even have the potential to relieve another American addiction: reliance on imported fossil fuel.

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Hokulea picHokulea | Polynesian Voyaging Society

Wayfinding Explorers Sailing to the Chesapeake Bay

Posted 4.18.16 by Carol Brighton

Ocean explores are no strangers to Virginia's shores, but the voyagers that have set their sights on the Chesapeake Bay haven't landed on our beaches before. Polynesian sailors on a historic round-the-world odyssey are scheduled to arrive in the region to deliver a call to protect our oceans and save our island planet just in time for Earth Day 2016 celebrations. Read Post

Please House Point

Place Making, Habitat Preservation & Sustainable Design on the Lynnhaven River

With Accreditation & Acclaim, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Establishes a High Profile Presence in Tidewater

To achieve net zero impact on the environment, the Brock Center produces its own energy and water while many of the facility amenities were salvaged. In addition to going above and beyond in the office design, the entire Pleasure House Point site is undergoing ecological enhancement. Read More.

Lei Zuo

Wave Energy Technology to be Tested in Hampton Roads as Virginia Tech Scientist Earns $2 Million DOE Award

Posted 4.18.16

With momentum to develop clean energy building, there's been a recent surge of interest to harness the dense power in the coastal waters close to major population centers. A prototype multi-directional system that gathers energy as waves move back and forth will be deployed for testing in Hampton Roads in November. The apparatus in front below will be housed in a buoy similar to the yellow one behind developer Lie Zuo, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech. Read More.

Weinsten Center Solar ArrayUniversity of Richmond Weinsten Center Solar Array - Image: Ashlee Korlach

New Solar Tech Going Online at the University of Richmond

Posted 4.18.16

According to Rob Andrejewski, the Director of Sustainibility at the University of Richmond, the school has "committed to carbon neutrality by 2050." One way to achieve this goal is through on-site renewable energy production. By entering into a power purchase agreement with Secure Furtures of Staunton, VA. the University was able to avoid high up front costs and install a 205 kW solar system atop of the the LEED-Gold-certified Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness.

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Fish Rules App

Fish Rules: New Anglers App

Posted 4.16.16

A smartphone app is now available to recreation saltwater anglers from Maine to Texas. The free app, Fish Rules, provides images of various species for identification and lets fishermen know in real time if a fish is in season at their location, how many they can keep, minimum size, bag and vessel limit, and more.

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Paris Treaty Tracking MapMap: UN - States that have indicated that they intend to sign the Paris Agreement at the Ceremony for the Opening for Signature, on 22 April 2016

Over 150 Nations to Sign Landmark Climate Treaty in NYC April 22

Posted 18 April 2016 by Carol Brighton

This Earth Day, leaders from across the globe will assemble in NYC to seal the deal on the Paris Climate Treaty. Among them, will be the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases: China, United States, India, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, France and Germany. Consider ding the strong momentum for support on the first day the treaty is open to signatories, a course for unified climate action now appears certain. To track progress, a Climate Tracker Data Explorer has been set up online by the World Resources Institute and Open Climate Network. Read More.

Earth Day Events

In addition to the events listed on the map, check out the event at the historic the Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach.

blue_crab_picImage: Chesapeake Bay Program Flickr

The Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab

The results of the 2016 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey show the total population of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay climbed 35 percent to a total of 553 million. This is the fourth highest level in two decades, since 1996, and builds on last year’s 38 percent boost in abundance.

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picPower Shift: The Clean Energy Revolution

Posted 2.3.16 - Clean energy initiatives like traditional wind and solar generation to game changing technology are explored. Featured topics include a free solar training program for transitioning vets offered through Tidewater Community College; major solar plans for at Naval Station Norfolk and the Oceana Naval Air Station; new energy modeling program based on weather data; 50 MW offshore turbines that mimic palm trees to withstand hurricane force winds; and wave energy conversion.

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Virginia Benefits from Down to Earth Applications of Space Agency Research

Monitoring earth systems from the vantage of space provides critical weather, land use, and environmental data. With some data sets covering decades, important trends can be identified to inform land users and policy makers. In the Commonwealth, work is underway on innovative projects that will have benefits extending from the shore to the mountains. Existing remotely sensed data is being used to support the wine industry while innovative microsatellite networks are in development to improve hurricane forecasting along the the coast.

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Plastic Pollution

National Microbead Ban Signed by the President! Read More.

Fashion Sends an SOS for the Ocean - Apparel fabricated from plastic debris recovered from the sea is rolling into the marketplace. In a campaign championed by Virginia Beach native and pop icon Pharrell Williams, the artist is spotlighting the plight caused by pollution and an innovative solution. Through his contribution, he hopes to garner support and catalyze action. Read Post.

The Climate Cure: Balancing Earth's Carbon Equilibrium by Transforming a Climate Liability into a Commodity

World leaders agreed in Paris December 2015 to constrain global greenhouse emissions. During the landmark UN event, 195 countries committed to take steps that will slow the climate warming trend and limit the global thermostat from inching 2 degrees Celsius above historic averages.

By engineering high tech as well as down to earth strategies, entrepreneurs aim to cash in on the carbon conundrum. A host of pioneering carbon offsetting initiatives are discussed including carbon trading, regenerative agriculture and biomass fixing, as well as drawing down ambient CO2 as a feedstock for products including fuel.

Bay-Saver Bags similar to the Gulf-Saver Bags pictured here were planted along the Maryland shoreline as a carbon offset. Read more about developing carbon assets through biomass storage.



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