Tidewater Current

Natural Resources




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

Natural Resources | Conservation & Restoration:

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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: Swim Advisories VDH

Hands Across the Sand Event, VB

Offshore Drilling / Seismic Testing

In mid-March, after concerns were issued by both the Pentagon and NASA, along with much public outcry, the Obama administration put East Coast drilling plans on hold through 2022. Seismic testing applications are still being considered. Read more about local efforts to stymie offshore drilling plans here. For future news updates follow the Tidewater Current Facebook page and Oil and Gas collection on Pinterest.

Fish Rules App

Fish Rules: New Anglers App

Posted 4.18.16

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.

Fish Rules was co-developed by Albrey Arrington, a recreational fisherman in Jupiter, Florida, to help himself and his friends understand recreational saltwater fisheries regulations when they were out on the water fishing in the Southeast. The app uses a smartphone’s GPS and calendar to show what state or federal regulations apply to a fishing location on a specific day, making compliance with fishing regulations easy. Scott Steinback, an economist in the Social Sciences Branch at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass began working with Arrington and helped procure NOAA Fisheries funding to expand the Fish Rules app to include saltwater fishing regulations for the Northeast region, from North Carolina to Maine.

“People often don’t know the regulations and are unaware of changes made year to year, or about areas closed for spawning during specific time periods. It can be hard to keep up and understand the regulations, especially if you fish at different locations,” said Scott Steinback. “Fish Rules makes it easy to comply because recreational fishermen have the most information at their fingertips, in a format that is easy to use and understand.”

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. Considering 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.


The Earth Day theme this year is "Trees for the Earth." Kathleen Rogers, President of the Earth Day Network, notes “Trees and forests are the most vital weapon we have against climate change. We must reduce the amount of carbon we pump into the air each and every day, but forests are the natural filter that will absorb and cleanse our air of the carbon already present. In order for the Paris climate Agreement to work as intended, individuals and nations need to get planting and help us in our effort to get 7.8 billion trees in the ground by Earth Day 2020. Without these natural carbon sinks allied to cleaner energy, smarter ways of doing business and a clear commitment to solve the difficulties of the poor, the Agreement risks becoming so much hot air.”

To learn more about the many benefits of trees and natural infrastructure, check out this TidewaterCurrent.com post: Nature At Work and/or visit the "Natural Capital" news collection on Pinterest.

Related Posts:

Wayfinding Explorers Sailing to the Chesapeake Bay Just In Time for Earth Day

Check out the Earth Day Event at the historic the Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach. More scheduled activities can be identified in the embedded map below.

Find another Earth Day Event:


Avoiding a Collision Course

Over the Winter, the Virginian-Pilot reported sightings of two humpback whales suffering injuries characteristic with boat strikes. To mitigate potential impacts that naval operations in and around the Chesapeake Bay region could have on migrating species, the Navy initiated a local 3 year study to establish a baseline of behavioral patterns for humpback whales in training and vessel transit areas. 6 humpback whales were tagged over the winter with satellite tracking devices. The short-lived devices provide critical information about their activity in our highly trafficked coastal waters. Lean more about the project here. Read more about efforts to protect whales from ship strikes in this 2013 Tidewater Current post.


Image: Smartfin

While riding waves, surfers could soon be collecting valuable ocean data

Smartfin, an innovative endeavor supported by NYC based Lost Bird Project, will allow surfers to collect and share ocean data every time they take to the water. Sensors embedded in a fin will transmit data in near real-time on water ph, salinity, temperature and detailed wave characteristics. With wireless charging on the horizon, the sensor system can be energized without removal from the board. The group is coordinating with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to validate the technology. Learn more by watching this informative video by Great Big Story.

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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