The recovery of our national bird from the brink of extinction is one of the triumphs of American conservation. For much of the 20th century, bald eagle populations declined for a number of reasons, including habitat destruction, particularly the loss of trees large enough to support their enormous nests, and declining water quality and overfishing, which deprived them of their prey base.
Excitement is building as the final touches are applied to “Rappahannock,” the much-anticipated documentary about the river, its ecology and the people who live along its history-rich shoreline. Director, producer and writer Bayley Silleck, who has roots in Stafford County and lives with his wife, Joan, in Fredericksburg, has been gathering material for the film over the past two years.
Months of intensive debate over a proposed development in Richmond County ended in November with approval of a rezoning request that paves the way for a luxury residential community and resort located at Fones Cliffs, an ecologically-sensitive area on the Northern Neck. Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) and other regional environmental advocacy groups opposed the rezoning, which affects nearly 1,000 acres that are home to the largest nesting and migrating bald eagle population on the Chesapeake Bay.