A look at the natural world around us.

Supervisors Vote to Rezone River Site

Nov 12, 2015

  After months of contentious hearings, the Richmond County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to rezone a one-thousand acre pristine tract of land along the Rappahannock River. 

The move paves the way for Miami-based Diatomite of America to move forward with plans to build a commercial resort, championship golf course and more than 700 houses on forested cliffs currently occupied by bald eagles. Marty Payne who lives downriver from Fones Cliffs told supervisors he's worried the large development will pollute the river.


Researching Diseases in Wild Oysters

Nov 12, 2015

While farmed oysters are big business in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay wild oyster is still struggling with bay pollution and two diseases, harmless to humans, but fatal to oysters.

Since the late 1980s, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has conducted annual surveys to check on how wild oysters are coping.

Dominion Power is starting a new project… one that will make its power lines safer to large birds. Crews have begun an effort across the state to slowly change the way power lines are structured.

About 25 times a year, a large bird, like an eagle,owl, or osprey, will perch on the cross-arms of an electrical pole and spread their long wing-span out…. touching one tip of each wing to an electrical wire.

“If one wing touches one and one the other that’s a potential for an electrocution right there. It’s more than likely going to be a fatal event to the bird.”

Bats and Halloween go wing in hand. They're shrouded in myth and lore and are the stuff of creepy tales and film. However, they are a very important part of our biodiversity and are being decimated by disease. Not a good thing.

Mark Ford is an Associate Professor and Unit Leader of the Cooperative Research Unit of the Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Virginia Tech.  He says we have nine to 12 species of bats that can be found in Virginia:

AP Photo/Ralph Wilson

Opponents to natural gas pipelines in Virginia are calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to do a comprehensive review of all four of the proposed projects. 

Thirty organizations in Virginia are calling on FERC to take a bird’s eye view of the natural gas infrastructure to determine if 4 new pipelines, currently in the planning stages, are really necessary. The pipelines would bring fracked natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia into North Carolina. Opponents say they are a threat to the region’s water, scenic beauty and public safety.