To sign up for our Public Policy e-newsletter, please email Karen@LRNow.org
LRNow works with our elected officials and community leaders to advocate for good environmental policy at the local, state and federal levels. We invite you to subscribe to our Public Policy electronic newsletter by emailing Karen@LRNow.org. We also invite you to participate in a variety of programs on public policy issues that we offer throughout the year. We also welcome your participation in programs offered by our partners, Virginia Conservation Network and Choose Clean Water Coalition, at the state and regional level.
Watch the E-News for the date and time of our fall Candidates Forum. The 2018 forum will include all of the candidates for City Council running for seats in the November, 2018 election.
Seismic Testing and Offshore Drilling for Oil and Gas
During 2017 and 2018, we have worked hard with a wide range of partners to oppose seismic testing and drilling for gas and oil off the coast of Virginia. At the end of 2016, the seismic testing permits for the Atlantic were rescinded and the lease sale withdrawn. It looked like we had prevented with potentially destructive and detrimental activity in the Atlantic Ocean. However, after Donald Trump took office in January, 2017, he opened up all of the waters off the American coast to leasing by oil companies and we began our work again to prevent this from happening.
Currently, the fist comment period has ended and we are awaiting a ruling from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in the Department of the Interior on whether the lease sale will proceed. There are many reasons to oppose drilling off of the Virginia coast. They inlcude:
- Seismic testing and drilling are extremely dangerous and potentially deadly to marine mammals and other ocean wildlife.
- Tourism is a major contributor to our economy in Virginia Beach and could be devastated not just by a major spill, but also by the cumulative impact of the small spills that are a part of day to day oil and gas drilling operations.
- Healthy local seafood is important to all of us and employs many who make coastal Virginia their home. Crabs, oysters, clams and commercial and sport fish are put at great risk by drilling operations.
- NASA’s activities at Wallops Island on the Eastern Shore of Virginia will be compromised by oil and gas activity in the Atlantic off the coast of Virginia.
- And lastly, the US Navy has identified most of the area off the coast of Virginia as critical to their training activities which do not mix with oil rigs and drilling operations.
For these reasons, LRNow has taken a position in opposition to seismic testing and offshore drilling. We appreciate the unwavering support of Governor Northam. We also appreciate the support of Senator Kaine, Senator Warner, Congressman Taylor and the Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Virginia Beach City Council.
Virginia General Assembly
Every year, LRNow follows some bills in the General Assembly that directly affect Virginia Beach and our work. The General Assembly meets for 45 or 60 days. Our Virginia Beach representatives are listed below.
We advocate for funding for the Stormwater Local Assistance Program that provides grant funds on a one to one match basis to cities and counties to make improvements to their stormwater systems. Stormwater is the primary way that pollutants enter our waterways.
We have supported moving management of the menhaden fishery to VMRC and staying in full compliance with the Atlantic Marine Fisheries Management Council recommendations. We also support funding for oyster replenishment and restoration. And each year there are other bills, both good and bad, that demand attention.
Virginia Conservation Network
The Virginia Conservation Network is a coalition of over 100 conservation organizations across the state. LRNow is proud to be a partner organization. The coalition offers network partner organizations the opportunity to work together on issues of mutual interest and have a stronger voice in the General Assembly and beyond. VCN tackles issues related to Clean Energy, Healthy Waters, and Smart Communities.
LRNow staff and volunteers participate on the Water Workgroup and in the three primary events sponsored by VCN each year: Environmental Forum in the fall, General Assembly Preview Day in December, and Lobby Day at the General Assembly in January. All who are interested are invited to participate in these events. Please watch our E-News for dates, locations, and registration information. Karen Forget currently serves as the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of VCN.
For more information, go to www.vcnva.org
Choose Clean Water Coalition
Choose Clean Water is a coalition of groups throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed who are working on water quality issues. This group supported by the National Wildlife Federation brings together voices from Virginia Beach to New York to learn about and common issues, work together on solutions, and have a collective strong voice in Washington, DC on water quality issues that are a part of the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
LRNow staff participate on monthly workgroup calls, the annual conference and lobby day on Capital Hill.
For more information, go to https://www.choosecleanwater.org/
Your Elected Representatives
Mayor Will Sessoms
Vice-Mayor Louis Jones — Bayside District
John Uhrin — Beach District
Jim Wood — Lynnhaven District
Rosemary Wilson — At-large
John Moss — At-large
Shannon Kane — Rose Hall District
Bobby Dyer — Centerville District
Barbara Henley — Princess Anne District
Ben Davenport — At Large
Jessica Abbott — Kempsville District
For City Council meeting schedules, agendas, minutes, and email addresses, to go:
Virginia General Assembly
Senator Bill DeSteph
Senator Frank Wagner
Delegate Chris Stolle
Delegate Jason Miyares
Delegate Bobby Knight
Delegate Cheryl Turpin
Delegate Kelly Fowler
Delegate Glenn Davis
For information on General Assembly bills or access information for our representatives, go to the Virginia Public Access Project (https://www.vpap.org/),
Richmond Sunlight (https://www.richmondsunlight.com/) or the
Virginia General Assembly website (https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/).
Senator Tim Kaine – https://www.kaine.senate.gov/
Senator Mark Warner — https://www.senate.gov
Congressman Scott Taylor — https://taylor.house.gov/