by Joan Smedinghoff
November 10, 2017
A lion statue stands guard on a bridge overlooking the James River at Mariners' Museum and Park in Newport News, Va., on March 16, 2015. Lions Bridge, named for the statues that flank either end of the bridge, sits on a dam that overlooks the James River and is adjacent to Lake Maury.
The 167-acre lake is completely surrounded by Mariners' Museum Park, which offers a wooded retreat for walking, running and picnicking. At 550 acres, the park connects the nearby museum with the James River.
The James is a truly Virginian river. The longest in the state, it both begins and ends in Virginia and flows throughout most of the state, even passing through the capital of Richmond. Fed by 15,000 miles of tributaries, the James River watershed—the area of land that eventually drains into the river—is almost 25 percent of the state and is home to one-third of Virginians. This makes the 340-mile river also Virginia's largest tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.
Given its prominent place in the state, both in size and location, the James River has been at the top of the list of waterways to restore. The James River Association tracks the river's health, showing that it is making a slow, but steady, recovery.
Learn more about the importance of the region's waterways.