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James River Gets C+ In New Report

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By Rebecca Blatt

A new report gives mixed reviews for Virginia's longest river.

There are several pieces of good news for the James River, which stretches 340 miles from near West Virginia to the Atlantic Ocean. Bald eagles have made a remarkable comeback along it. Oxygen-giving grasses have spread along the river bottom. And nutrient pollution from sewage plants and industries met reduction goals for the first time in 2009.

Then there's the bad news: Fish populations are suffering, oysters continue to struggle, portions of the lower James rarely met clean-water standards and investments in water quality have been slow to appear.

In all, the James River Association, which prepared the report, gave the river a C+.


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