Forested marsh
...keeping you informed about the York River, Mobjack Bay and Piankatank River watershed issues

Mission of the York River and Small Coastal Basin Roundtable: to provide a forum for sharing information throughout the York River basin, with an emphasis on education and outreach on water quality concerns, broad collaboration on conservation priorities, promotion of watershed restoration through on-the-ground project assistance, and provide technical workshops for stakeholders to enhance
the understanding of water quality issues.

Sunset by Steve Hinkley

Not Goodbye But Hope to See You Later

May Sligh has taken a position at VDOT and can no longer serve as the leader for the YRSCB. In addition, the October DEQ deadline passed for a new grant sponsor with no applications. This is a big disappointment; however, keep the YRSCB on your radar and we may get a sponsor for 2018 projects. In the meantime, Karen Reay and Ann Edmonds will try to keep the website afloat with pertinent information for the Roundtable. If you have questions, please contact us.

Native Plants

Native Plants for Southeast Virginia - including Hampton Roads Region

This guide was produced and funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program working with a team of regional partners.

The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program's Regional Native Plant Marketing Campaigns and Regional Guides are beneficial to homeowners in the York River Watershed and beyond.

Assembling Reef Balls

2016 Oyster Reef Ball a Success!

Members of the YRSCB, as well as other volunteers, met at the VIMS Boat Basin on October 18 to assemble oyster reef structures that will eventually be placed in the Lafayette River. CBF Oyster Restoration Manager, Jackie Shannon, provides a hearty thank you to YRSCB volunteers for their work.

Restoring the “Coral Reefs”of the Chesapeake Bay provides information on the benefits of reef ball habitats.

climate change factsheet

What Climate Change Means for Virginia

Higher water levels are eroding beaches, submerging low lands, exacerbating coastal flooding, and increasing the salinity of estuaries and aquifers. In the coming decades, the region's changing climate is likely to reduce crop yields, harm livestock, increase the number of unpleasantly hot days, and increase the risk of heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses. Read the 2016 EPA Report.

VCAP logo

Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP)

The Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP) is an urban cost-share program that provides financial incentives and technical and educational assistance to property owners installing eligible Best Management Practices (BMP’s) in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed.


Pamunkey Paddle

Pamunkey Paddle

On July 22, 2016, members of the YRSCB Steering Committee were guided through a stretch of the Pamunkey River by Christian Van Landingham of Calm Water Adventures. After the paddle, Debra Martin or "Stargazer" provided information on the history, culture, and artistic talent of the Pamunkey Tribal Members and opened the museum to the group for a tour.

Photo gallery and notes

Albert J. McGhee Jr

Grand Basin Clean Water Farm Award Winners

Congratulations to Albert J. McGhee Jr. of Vivian Scott Richardson Sr. Memorial Farm as the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Grand Basin Clean Water Farm Award for the York River area nominated by the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District

As part of their recognition, they received a sign to post on their farm, as well as a certificate. The awards were handed out at the annual meeting of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Richmond.

Safe Waters Healthy Waters

Safe Waters, Healthy Waters: A Guide for Citizen Groups on Bacteria Monitoring in Local Waterways. The Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. (the Center) has released a new guide for citizen science groups and watershed organizations across the nation to take a role in finding and eliminating sources of harmful bacteria in their communities.

York RIver Watershed

The York RIver Research Symposium included technical presentations and posters highlighting current research, information synthesis and management adaptation strategies as related to estuarine system response to climate change and variability. Members of the YRSCB attended to obtain a better understanding of the York River watershed and increase their knowledge of how to best sustain the health and productivity of its resources.

Abstracts and York RIver Watershed Usage Facts


2016 Planning Meeting and Tour of Lakeside Dairy

Members of the YRSCB Steering Committee met to review activities of 2015 and discuss plans for 2016. May Sligh provided a summary of projects and Roundtable-sponsored meetings for 2015 and then the group discussed proposed activities for 2016.

Ann Edmonds submitted a meeting summary and May Sligh provided a summary of projects, costs and estimated budget.

Oyster Reef Building

5th Annual Chesapeake Bay Foundation Reefball Building, October 22, 2015

It was the perfect day for building reef balls in October - clear and warm. YRSCB members along with Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) staff and volunteers got to work early on October 22, 2015. Jackie Shannon and Heather North took the lead in instructing the group on proper reef ball construction. They also provided some tips for making the job easier and more successful.
Read more and see photos

Big Island

Big Island Paddle, July 17, 2015

YRSCB members met in Hayes, VA on July 17 on a relatively cool and non-humid summer day. The group, led by their enthusiastic guide, Shannon Alexander of Bay Country Kayaking, assembled at the tip of Guinea to paddle around Big Island which is located between the mouth of the York River and Mobjack Bay. The day on the water helps us appreciate what we are working to improve through the YRSCB. Read more and see photos

Beetles of North America

The York Roundtable partnered with VA CBNERRS to present: Bees, Beetles and the Bay: Pesticide Impacts on Aquatic and Human Health and Pollinator Protection for a Healthy Chesapeake

Several excellent speakers provided information about local pollinators (roles, status, and conservation), and impacts of pesticides and toxins on human health.  Discussions were focused on the health of pollinators, aquatic organisms, water quality, and the health of the Bay.

Presentations, Photos, and Q&A

wetlands watch flood report

Virginia localities are currently faced with several challenges: insurance rates from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are increasing, sea levels are rising, budgets are strained, and there are an increasing number of regulatory requirements imposed on local governments to reduce stormwater runoff. Wetlands Watch has just released a new study  on how communities can take extra steps to deal with flooding/sea level rise, and reduce their flood insurance costs.

Piankatank River The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has compiled a report titled "Piankatank River: Shellfish, Bacteria and You" which is related to the water quality within the upper, lower and Milford Haven/Gwynn's Island area of the Piankatank River. The report focuses on bacterial shellfish contamination and what you can do to help reduce pollutant loads within the river.
SOS Video

Video on the Virginia Save Our Streams Muddy Bottom Method for benthic macroinvertebrate sampling and identification.

Part 1 Introduction
Part 2 Sampling Method
Part 3 Sorting and Uploading Data
Part 4 Macroinvertebrate Identification
Part 5 Equipment

Sponsored by DEQ, Izaak Walton League,VA Save our Streams and the York Roundtable.

phone app

Sea Level Rise Phone App - Wetlands Watch, with the help of Concursive, Inc. and Hampton Roads Cares, has developed a phone app to engage the public in reporting current flooding events and monitoring changes over time due to sea level rise. Our app will move Virginia to the next stage of data gathering and real time flooding warnings.

We will soon be able to record the extent of flooding on individual storms and provide those data points to modelers who can verify their predictions. Next stage? Pushing specific predictions of flooding back to the app network so they know when to move their cars and take precautions around their homes.

watershed agreement

The signing of the new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement represents a renewed commitment from Virginia and its Bay Program partners to continue protecting the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and surrounding lands. 

The agreement features 10 goals that will ultimately contribute to Bay restoration, for the first time including language for citizen stewardship, public access, and K-12 environmental literacy of students.  Included in the new agreement are goals for sustainable fisheries, vital habitats, water quality, toxic contaminants, healthy watersheds, stewardship, land conservation, public access, environmental literacy and climate resiliency.  The updated agreement keeps a focus on immediate results, while recognizing that long-term efforts must also be sustained.

Natural Preserves

The public-access guide to Virginia’s natural area preserve system is now online!

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation manages the preserve system, which contains some of Virginia’s most unique natural communities and protects habitat for rare plant and animal species. The system consists of 61 preserves (55,352 acres) across the state.

While not all 61 preserves have facilities for public access, the 21 preserves listed in the guide have parking areas and established trails and viewing areas. A few even offer canoe and kayak launches.

For more info about the preserve system

conservation manual The Roundtable is sponsoring an urban stormwater BMP cost share program called the “Virginia Conservation and Assistance Program” which is designed to assist homeowners with the installation of a number of stormwater reducing practices. Our sponsorship will help with a number of practices in the York River basin this year, and we plan to continue this funding assistance in the future. Check out the design manual that was designed by a number of our partner SWCDs
livestock exclusion cover The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has developed a brochure on 100% cost share for livestock stream exclusion (available through June 30, 2015). This funding program is an unprecedented opportunity for progress on TMDL stream exclusion targets, particularly as articulated in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan.
south anna map A South Anna River (tributary of the Pamunkey River) report card has been developed by VA Department of Environmental Quality, Alliance for Chesapeake Bay, and York River Small Coastal Basins Roundtable summarizing water quality data from January 2010 to December 2012. There are plans for report cards for other York River tributaries in the future.
climate change Interested in recent links to climate change, wetland, coastal shorelines, fisheries and environmental issues? more.
epa septic smart

EPA's SepticSmart!

Learn more about how to protect property value through proper maintenance of home septic systems and how to launch a homeowner outreach program through EPA's SepticSmart website.

bioretension design - Cahill Associates

In Education/Outreach Projects:
JCC Sustainable Development Video plus more info on site design

yrscb logo

YR&SCB Roundtable provides a forum for information exchange to address regional water quality and planning issues within the York River, Mobjack Bay and Piankatank River Watersheds, as they relate to tributary strategy implementation. Learn more..



News/Events Calendar

YRSCB 2016 Milestones Document

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has updated the list of invasive plant species in Virginia or see their news release.

Registration is now open for Project Clean Stream with Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay! Register your cleanup site here.

YRSCB Steering Committee Members

DEQ Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Plan now posted.

"Local Government Stormwater Financing Manual: A Process for Program Reform" - The University of Maryland's Environmental Finance Center

Governor McAuliffe Announces $500,000 Nature Conservancy Grant For Large-scale Oyster Sanctuary in the Piankatank River

View photos from meeting at Meadowview Biological Research Station

4th Annual CBF Oyster Reefball Construction Photos

Learn how to register your rainbarrel

2014 milestones for YRSCB

Government Accountability Office report on water quality efforts

Draft water quality improvement plans for tidal shellfish waters plus more information

Free Watershed Academy Webinars and Other Water Quality Apps

Presentations for Streambank Stabilization & Restoration Workshop,

Virginia's Scenic Rivers Program 40th Anniversary - Read more

Archived Minutes of YRSCB Meetings

york river & small coastal basins
Where are the York River & Small Coastal Basins in Virginia?

Virginia Watersheds
Watershed roundtables are popping up all over the state. There are currently 13 active roundtables in Virginia. Learn more..


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