Natural Resources

A government agency has moved to protect thousands of square miles of ocean bottom habitat – including areas off the Virginia coast – from damage by commercial fishing operations.....and a thriving elk population in southwest Virginia has created complications for state wildlife managers.  Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link on

A poll by the National Resources Defense Council shows 88% of Virginians want the state to use more wind and solar power, and the federal government has offered the state $47 million to build a couple of turbines offshore, but Dominion Power is hesitant. 

Virginia is blessed with 112 miles of coastline. Twenty-seven miles out, the water is still relatively shallow, making it ideal for construction of wind turbines, and there’s usually a steady ocean breeze.

Dominion Virginia Power has leased land offshore for a wind park, but it’s not clear when construction might begin. 

The company says a demonstration project is needed to guide future development, but the cost to build a couple of turbines offshore is too high. 

In Denmark – which has more than 30 years of experience – experts say driving costs down is the name of the game, and they’re happy to share their secrets with Virginia. 

This year, the federal government said it would give nearly $47 million to each of three states hoping to develop offshore wind power – Virginia, New Jersey and Oregon. 

Virginia said it would partner with Dominion Power to build a demonstration project, but the utility now says it can’t get started, because installing a couple of turbines is too expensive.  Meanwhile, Denmark reports it’s getting nearly 40% of its power from wind.  How did such a tiny country do that, and what could we learn from the Danes? 

Governor Declares VA's Menhaden Harvest Level

Jun 4, 2015

Last month fisheries managers from Florida to Maine voted for a ten percent increase in commercial harvests of menhaden.

The oily fish is loved by bald eagles, osprey and other fish and is used along the Atlantic as bait to catch tastier fare like lobster and crab. At a rainy ceremony today, Governor Terry McAuliffe threw his support behind Omega Protein, the last fish rendering plant on the East Coast.