Money Point Transformation Begins
with Wetland and Stormwater Projects
The Elizabeth River Project's draft plan for large-scale restoration of one of the worst sites on the Elizabeth River has gained such momentum that partners at Money Point already have secured more than half a million dollars to begin implementation.
A community task force has been working for the last year to identify initiatives for the revitalization of Money Point, where an explosion and spill in the 1960s is correlated with cancer in fish. Even though the plan won't be finished until this fall, grants have been awarded to carry out key recommendations, including:
$164,000 for four acres of wetland restoration alongside Elizabeth River Terminals, awarded to The Elizabeth River Project by NOAA's Community Based Restoration Program and Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality
$370,000 for state-of-the-art stormwater improvements, Freeman and Buell Street, awarded to the City of Chesapeake by Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The city also applied for $100,000 from Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to complete the project.
$100,000 to help complete a feasibility study that is one part of the revitalization plan and addresses how to clean up contaminated sediments on the river bottom. Amerada Hess, another Money Point partner, donated the $100,000 to The Elizabeth River Project to conserve funds for cleanup once the study is completed. The bottom cleanup is also sponsored by a sister organization, The Elizabeth River Restoration Trust, which has allocated $5 million to remediate the toxic sediments at Money Point.
Currently the river bottom at Money Point harbors some of the highest known levels of creosote contamination in the world, correlated with cancer in the small resident fish, the mummichog. "With the current momentum, the mummichogs could be looking at a clean river bottom by 2008," said Joe Rieger, Project Manager for The Elizabeth River Project.