A Conservation and Restoration Plan for the Federally-endangered Atlantic Sturgeon in the James River, Virginia

EVST 305/405, Fall 2010

During the Fall of 2010, RMC Environmental Studies’ students worked to develop a comprehensive plan to restore the Atlantic Sturgeon population in the James River for the James River Association (JRA). The JRA is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the physical and biological health of the James River. The organizational structure for accomplishing this project included the following work groups: (1) the physiological ecology of the Atlantic sturgeon; (2) the habit; (3) threats to the habitat and (4) policies and regulations that affect the health of the sturgeon population. Students sought to determine the effects of sedimentation and nutrients on the sturgeon and its habitat at an artificial reef site near the Presque Isle National Wildlife Refuge along the lower James River. This site was created to encourage spawning in the James River by the James River Association in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.