New Trust Fund Established to Help Restore the Elizabeth River
Virginia Governor Mark Warner visited The Elizabeth River Project's new waterfront facility to deliver good news. He announced the formation of a major new trust fund for the restoration of the Elizabeth River.
Despite state budget constraints, the Governor committed significant state funding to start The Living River Restoration Trust.
"The Governor is taking a hero's step despite Virginia's cash-strapped times," said Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, Executive Director of The Elizabeth River Project.
The new fund is being established by agreement of the US Army Corp of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and The Elizabeth River Project. The fund will provide "a better mitigation option" for development projects required to offset impacts to natural resources in the Elizabeth River watershed.
Where impacts to the river cannot be avoided and all due process has been followed, the Trust will allow developers' mitigation dollars to remain in the watershed, and to be spent to implement a state-approved Watershed Action Plan for the Elizabeth River.
The non-profit Elizabeth River Project has established an independent organization to serve as the Trust, with an independent board being appointed by The Elizabeth River Project.
School children who study the river as River Star Schools, officials of the four river cities, staff and supporters of The Elizabeth River Project (ERP) and others joined Governor Warner in a symbolic ferry ride across the river before touring ERP's new waterfront facility next to the ferry dock. (Click on thumbnails below to see photos.)