Friday, December 8, 2023

James River Week to Celebrate River with Events Across the Watershed

(James River Association)

RICHMOND — Six organizations have partnered once again for James River Week, an annual celebration of river-based adventures, trips, educational opportunities, and more to honor the James River.

The James River Association (JRA), James River Advisory Council (JRAC), Friends of the James River Park (FOJRP), Maymont, Central Virginia Waste Management Authority, Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation, and Chesterfield County Public Library were involved in the planning of the event which runs from Sept. 10-17, according to a press release from the James River Association.

(James River Association)

James River Week officially kicks off with the 23rd year of JRAC’s James River Regional Cleanup from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Sept. 10, spanning more than 75 miles of the James River. Residents may participate by registering through JRAC’s website.

“JRAC enjoys the collaboration and community engagement during this special week!” said Janit Llewellyn, Co-Chair for JRAC. “Come out and enjoy a program, event or gathering to celebrate our region’s most notable gem, the James River.”

Events are planned throughout the week, including festivals, kid-friendly activities, events for animal lovers, recreationists, and opportunities for river lovers to make a difference for the James, according to the James River Association. In Richmond, the JRPS 50th Birthday Party, a celebration of the James River Park System, will give participants will have the chance to try out a number of the different activities available in the park system.

“Friends of the James River Park is proud to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the creation of the James River Park System during James River Week this year,” said Joshua Stutz, Executive Director for Friends of the James River Park. “We are excited to see so many great partnerships taking place in support of the James River!”

A breaching Atlantic sturgeon spotted 1/4 mile upstream of the third artificial spawning sturgeon reef on the James River, just east of the Varina-Enon bridge near Hopewell. (Photo by Don West)

JRA’s The Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon trips will give the public an opportunity to learn about what it calls a “living fossil.” Atlantic sturgeon spend their adult years in the Atlantic Ocean but return to the rivers where they were born twice a year to spawn, including the James.

“Is there a better way to celebrate James River Week than by watching Atlantic sturgeon splashing their way upriver to Richmond?,” said Justin Doyle, Director of Community Conservation for the James River Association. “Atlantic sturgeon make their fall spawning migration up the James at the end each summer and can be seen breaching as far upriver as Richmond in September. We look forward to welcoming participants on the Spirit of the James to catch a glimpse of this charismatic fish species that swam with the dinosaurs.”

And, for a second year, more than 20 eateries, bar & grills, wine bars, and more across the watershed will take part in “Seafood for the James.” Participating eateries will donate 10% of select seafood and fish dishes to JRA to protect and conserve the James River.

For a complete list of all James River Week events and opportunities including dates, times and more, please visit

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