Contact: Dan Parry
NOAA News Releases 2006
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Participants Enjoy Inaugural Virginia NOAA Restoration Day

Nearly 40 volunteers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration joined today with staff from the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rice Center for Environmental Education, personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Harrison Lake Fish Hatchery, and students from I.C. Norcom High School to restore a portion of the Chesapeake Bay shoreline in the first NOAA-sponsored Virginia NOAA Restoration Day.

Volunteers planted underwater grasses at the VCU Rice Center sites adjoining the Chesapeake Bay which were grown this spring in 16 tanks at NOAA offices around the region, I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, and Nauticus, The National Maritime Center, in Norfolk. Participants also cleared debris from the water’s edge, removed invasive plant species, built and installed 20 nesting boxes for wetland-loving birds known as prothonotary warblers, and tested water quality.

"NOAA is pleased to be able to sponsor these annual activities," said Captain Craig McLean., acting deputy assistant administrator of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. "NOAA Restoration Day provides a hands-on opportunity for our employees to demonstrate NOAA's mission to protect, restore and manage our coastal resources, and in particular the treasured resource of Chesapeake Bay."

“We are proud to bring NOAA Restoration Day to Virginia. Employees from seven NOAA offices in Hampton Roads took time out of their busy schedules to help restore the Chesapeake Bay,” said Lowell Bahner, director of the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. “That shows how committed NOAA employees are to restoring the bay.”

This is the first Restoration Day held in Virginia. Restoration Days have taken place in Maryland since 2004. The annual restoration activities, conducted through NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Office, which is run jointly by NOAA Fisheries Service and the National Ocean Service.

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office is in its second decade of providing science, service, and stewardship to advance NOAA’s mission in the mid-Atlantic region through programs in fisheries, habitat, coastal observations, and education.

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources and their habitats through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

NOAA's Ocean Service is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. It balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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