|Governor Northam joined Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander, Elizabeth River Project and other dignitaries aboard our Learning Barge Thursday in part to celebrate this big win for the Chesapeake Bay: Full restoration of oyster habitat in an unlikely bay tributary, the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River.
Flowing from the Berkley Bridge east to Kempsville, the Eastern Branch has suffered from low visibility. But our region-wide plan for this branch has brought much needed attention. While the plan included a goal for 10 acres of restored oyster habitat, “I’m happy to say we overshot that goal by more than 10 additional acres,” achieving instead almost 24 acres, Joe Rieger, our Deputy Director – Restoration, told the gathering. Dignitaries then loaded into boats to place the final materials on the newest reef.
From Virginia Marine Resources Commission to Elizabeth River Project’s River Star Homes, diverse partners achieved the oyster goal. “Today the lost branch is now found,” Joe said. Read the Bay Journal article here. Racking up victories, our earlier Lafayette plan with many partners led to the Lafayette branch of the Elizabeth becoming the first Virginia tributary to achieve full oyster habitat restoration.
Thanks to you, members, for making all our work possible – and thanks to the governor for his important new commitment. Watch the WAVY 10 video coverage, read the Governor’s press release, and view the 13 News Now coverage here.