The James River Association has a cool new tool on their website that river lovers will find useful. It’s called James River Watch, and it allows users to check on a number of water quality indicators from home via an interactive map.
From a press release: “James River Watch features an easy-to-understand, interactive map that gives up-to-the-hour information such as river height and water temperature. Color-coded dots at public boat landings provide local condition information. In the Upper and Middle James, information is provided by U.S. Geological Survey river gauge stations. In the Lower James, information including wave height, is provided by National Oceanic Atmospheric Association river buoys.”
Let’s say you plan on going swimming in the James down by Williamsburg. If you go to the site first, you can find out if stinging nettles, harmful algae and bacteria have shown up in that area and at what levels. Farther upstream you can check conditions like water temperature at a number of different James River tributaries. It’s a great resource, and the JRA hopes to include additional features, like fishing conditions and pollution alerts, in the future.