Tidewater Current

Natural Resources




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

Natural Resources | Conservation & Restoration:

Embedded content at the bottom of this page includes regularly updated collections of insightful news.


Image: Terrain360

A Cold Weather Opportunity to Experience Nature

Stuck inside? You can still enjoy the great outdoors virtually through Richmond based Terrain360's video tours. With over 800 tours to choose from, the platform serves as an interactive guide for trails and waterways both near and far. You can stay close to home and explore the ghost fleet of the Potomac's Mallows Bay, traverse Appalachian trails, visit First Landing State Park, or drift down the entire length of the James and Susquehanna Rivers. Dreaming of a destination further afield? Tours are also offered of national parks like Zion and Acadia. Accompanying the video tours are detailed maps and information necessary to enjoy the sites in person. Start Touring at Terrain360.


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.

Avoiding a Collision Course

The Virginian-Pilot recently reported sightings of two humpback whales suffering injuries characteristic with boat strikes. The Virginia Aquarium is asking mariners to be on the lookout for our finned friends which feed in the region over the winter months. Last year 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 this year with satellite tracking devices. The short-lived devices provide critical information about their activity in our highly trafficked coastal waters. Read more about efforts to protect whales from ship strikes in this Tidewater Current 2013 post.


A honey bee, with pollen attached to its hind leg, pollinating a watermelon flower. (Photo by Stephen Ausmus/USDA)

Pollinator Protection

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is participating in a national strategy to restore pollinator populations. Stakeholder listening sessions will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday February 22, 2016 in Suffolk and Wednesday, February 24, 1016 on the Eastern Shore. More Info.

20216 Beekeepers Introductory Class - February 20, 27 & March 5, 2016 from 8 AM to 2:00 PM

Learn sustainable beekeeping with an emphasis on chemical-free practices from the experts over three consecutive Saturdays.  An optional fourth Saturday open hive demonstration in the bee yard and equipment assembly demonstration is included. 

Topics include: Beekeeping Equipment for the bees and the beekeeper, Honey Bee Biology, the Colony & Getting Started, Honey Bee Pests & Diseases - Their Prevention and Control, Seasonal Hive Management, Beekeeping Best Management Practices and Honey Production and Other Hive Products. More Information.

Master Naturalist Training

Many Virginia Master Naturalist chapters are still accepting applications for their Spring 2016 training courses.  Individuals interested in the environment and who have a desire to give back to help natural resources in their communities are encouraged to apply. 

The Peninsula Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists training begins Feb. 10 at the Denbigh Community Center and the Virginia Living Museum. Visit the Peninsula Chapter site.

Tidewater Master Naturalists 2016 Spring Training for new members is now confirmed for Monday nights from 6-9PM on March 7, 14, 21, April 4, 11, 18, 25 and May 2, 9, 16 at Virginia Wesleyan College. Field Trips are targeted for April 2, 16, May 7 and 21 (usually 4-5 hours in length) but subject to change depending on availability of sites and instructors.  Course fee is $125 which will include all materials, entrance fees (if applicable) and first year dues. The application and instructions for payment will be posted shortly on the Tidewater Master Naturalist site.

$20+ Million benefit from Ghost Pot Removal in the Chesapeake Bay

New research conducted by VIMS scientists is featured in Scientific Reports from the publisher of Nature.

Read Post

Plastic Attack - National Ban on Microbeads

On Monday, December 28, 2015, the President signed into law H.R. 1321, the "Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015," which prohibits the manufacture and introduction into interstate commerce the rinse-off cosmetics containing intentionally-added plastic microbeads. With a new report by the World Economic Forum estimating that in 2050 there will be more plastic by weight in the seas than fish, repercussions of the plastic age are literally piling up with ocean gyres and upon our cherished shores. The Chesapeake Bay has not escaped this global plague. For the past two years, Trash Free Maryland has conducted trawls in the Bay to find out just how big the problem is. Stiv Wilson, who participated in both the fall 2014 & 2015 expedition notes that plastic concentrations in the Bay were as dense as he's seen on any expedition which includes visits to 4 out of the 5 ocean gyres. All this plastic in the sea is also finding its way onto dinner plates. In a study published in the the Journal Nature, researchers found plastic debris in fish and bivalves sold for human consumption. While studies for the paper were limited in scale, there is an indication that the problem may be far more prevalent than previously thought. Read more about innovative solutions to reduce plastic proliferation in these previous posts: Fashion Sends an SOS for the Ocean - Apparel fabricated from plastic debris recovered from the sea; Getting Butts off the Beach; Celebrating the Sea & Talking Trash

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.


To view the entire news collection or if your browser does not support the format, go to Pinterest.

To view the entire news collection or if your browser does not support the format, go to Pinterest.

Check the Archive for Previous Posts

All Rights Reserved: Disclaimer

Top of Page