James River Initiatives

Our James River aspiration is that the region will make the James River a centerpiece for entertainment, recreation, and commerce.

Why is this Important?

The James River is one our region’s most important natural resources. In fact, more than 1/3 of all Virginians rely on the James River and its tributaries for water, commerce, and recreation.

How are we Moving the Needle?

In February 2017, the Regional Rivers Plan was completed, which offers recommendations and identifies strategies to leverage the James, Appomattox, Chickahominy, and Pamunkey Rivers to improve quality of life and catalyze economic activity.

Regional Rivers Plan

The Regional Rivers Plan was one of four strategies presented to The Capital Region Collaborative in 2013. It is imperative for the region to have a plan to help guide the various uses of our rivers, while ensuring the health of each river is protected. This plan makes recommendations (many of which are found in the Virginia Outdoors Plan, Richmond Riverfront Plan, local comprehensive plans, and other studies) to expand and enhance public recreational access, encourage business development, and promote tourism on the rivers of the region. The plan presents both regional and local recommendations, as well as steps for implementation. When fully implemented, the rivers of the region will be centerpieces for entertainment, recreation, and commerce.

Regional Rivers Plan Priority Projects

Learn more about the Regional Rivers Plan Priority Projects that were identified as regional priorities by the Capital Region Collaborative’s James River Action Team.

Check out the new interactive Rivers of the Richmond Region Public Access Map that the James River Association published!

Recreation Vision

The Richmond Region has a cohesive network of publicly accessible riverside parks, conservation areas, historic sites, canoe and kayak launches, and boat landings accommodating a variety of active and passive recreational activities and linked by greenways, blueways, and trails.

Economic Development Vision

Businesses benefit from events and recreation on the rivers of the region, which serve as sources of freshwater and support commerce and industries.



Tourism Vision

Credit: VisitRVA

The rivers of the Richmond Region are destinations for their diversity of outdoor events and festivals, recreational opportunities, rich history, and thriving riverfronts featuring dynamic public spaces and a variety of commercial attractions balanced by conservation easements, wildlife refuges, and protected lands.


Other Resources

The James River Advisory Council provides a forum for the diverse interests along the James River in Central Virginia and engages the public about issues and challenges facing the river.

State of the James monitors and provides a status report on the health of the James River ecosystem.

2018 James River Action Team

Bill Street, Chair (James River Association)
Heather Barrar (Chesterfield County)
Nathan Burrell (City of Richmond)
Albert Azzarone (Henrico County)
Justin Doyle (James River Association)
Jane Ferrara (City of Richmond)
Greg Garrison (Goochland County)
Ashley Hall (Capital Region Collaborative)
Tamera Harris (Richmond Region Tourism)
William Isenberg (Community Volunteer)
Janit Llewellyn (Chesterfield County)
Joseph McCauley (Chesapeake Conservancy)
Greg Moody (Altria)
Mark Olinger (City of Richmond)
Garet Prior (Town of Ashland)
Shawn Ralston (James River Association)
Sarah Stewart (Richmond Regional Planning District Commission)
Greg Velzy (Chesterfield County)