River News

Flyover gives new perspective to Rappahannock landscape

Before the spring thaw, Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) was able to put some eyes in the sky to see a snow and ice-covered tidal watershed. Southwings, a
non-profit organization that provides a network of volunteer pilots to conservation organizations,
community leaders, policy-
makers, and the media, worked with FOR to invite Northern Neck Planning District Commission Environmental Planner Stuart Mckenzie for a flight over the frozen Rappahannock, with me and volunteer pilot Jim Stover, who is also the flight instructor at local Shannon Airport.

FOR celebrates 30 years of river protection and activism

It was the late ‘70s and Bill Micks would meet some other river paddlers at the VFW parking lot (just below the Falmouth Bridge in Fredericksburg) to go out on occasional river cleanups. Bill put the word out in The Free Lance-Star for any others who were interested in cleaning up the River to meet them there; and others joined them. Bill recalls, “Someone at The Free Lance-Star said, ‘You guys are doing this all the time…you need to have a name.’ So, I started running the ad for people to come out with the ‘Friends of the Rappahannock’ for cleanups.”

Falcons Resurge Along the Rappahannock

On the brink of extinction in the 1960s, the peregrine falcon is now back and thriving in Virginia along the Rappahannock River.

These falcons have lived on the Norris Bridge between Topping and White Stone near the mouth of the river for years, and recently established a breeding territory on the Downing Bridge at
Tappahannock.

This past winter peregrines were also seen at the James Madison
Memorial Bridge in Port Royal, but they did not settle down to breed on the bridge.

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