James River

By Abbie and Carol Jean

The area past and present


The James River area was originally populated by Native Americans such as the Paleo Indains, Powhatans, and Monacans . The james river is home to Jamestown and was used by both the south and the north in the civil war. Iron works and flour and paper mills were found around the area surrounding the river.


- Population 7,099

- number of households: 2,818

- 50.6% female

- 49.4% male

Land around the river

- 5% urban

- 7% agriculture

- 71% forest

- 4% open water

- 3% wetland

Surfaces present

- roads

- bridges

- parking lots

- trails

- forest


Elevation of towns

Jamestown: 23 feet

Newport News: 20 feet

Claremont: 85 feet

Surrounding areas elevation

Around Jamestown: 92 feet-50 feet

Around Newport News: 40-60 feet

Around Claremont: 85 feet

The effects of land elevation and surounding surfaces on runoff and groundwater

More impervous surfaces cause more runoff and less groundwater

Higher elevation around the river causes the runoff to run into the river, carrying all the pollution it picked up with it.

The result of this is a polluted james river. The james river was given a c- for pollution. The people of the james river area are making efforts to clean the river.

What kind of pollutants affect the river?

Both point source pollution and non point pollution affect the river. The following affect the james river: 4% sediment, 43% nitrogen, and 75% phosphorus.

The james river currently has a C for its grade on pollution.

How has the quality of the river changed?

Temperature: for cold water the temperature shound not exceed 68* farenheight. For cool water the levels should not exceed 84* ferenheit.

Dessolved oxygen: For cool and Warm water the disolved oxygen should not be be any lower than 5ppm. For cold water the disolved oxygen should not be any lower than 6ppm.

PH levels: the PH levels should be 6-9.

Fecal Coliform levels: should not exceed 1,000

Nitrate: The nitrate levels have been exceeded normal levels

Turbidity: rangev10-600 j.c.u


Brook trout: 45% (no change)

Small mouth bass: 53% (+4% 2-year change)

American shad: 21% (-21% 2-year change)

Oysters: 14% (+3% 2-year change)

Striped Bass: 67% (-9% 2 year change)

How do these changes in the water quality affect the living things the ecosystem?

The ecosystem is a very delicate syste which means that every time something changes, its almost a tragic issue. Each change causing different good or bad problems. Plant growth, fertilizers, phosphates and nitratesall give off negative affects which means many animals die or leave. For PH levels if the levels are below 7 (that is bad), above 7 (this as well bad). For dissolved oxygen if the levels change it will dramaticly affect the fish this will cause them to die off. If the temperature changes fish will either be affected or the population will drop. For turbidity if there is too much in the water it will eventually become hard for fish to hunt, see, and breath. Lastly the presence or absence if some microinvertebrates (aquatic life) with out certain animals/insects the waters ecosystem will be driasticly affected forever.
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