The Rappahannock Tribe engages in environmental advocacy and conservation of natural resources in its homeland, the lower Rappahannock and Mattaponi river watersheds. The Department of Environmental Services represents Rappahannock Traditional Ecological Knowledge in regional, state, and federal forums.
“Mother Earth is not a resource, she is an heirloom.”
– David Ipina, Yurok Tribe (California)
Woodie Walker, director
Department of Environmental Services
(804) 769-0260 x. 107
Blueback herring and Alewife (“river herring”) were historically a subsistence food source for Virginia’s indigenous river people, including the Rappahannock Tribe. As recently as the 1940s, Rappahannocks were documented preserving several thousands of these fish with salt each spring. In recent decades overharvesting and habitat degradation has decreased their populations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed such that possession of these fish in Virginia is now illegal. The Rappahannock Tribe is working with partner scientists to share traditional knowledge about river herring.
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JOBS and Internships
None at this time. Stay tuned for updates!
Are there unique natural resources on or near my property? Are there species of concern nearby?
Find out more with mapping tools at Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Area Data Explorer
Can I eat the fish I catch?
Learn about Virginia’s fish consumption advisories for toxins like mercury & PCBs
LEARN More about TEK and the Rappahannock watershed
I live in the Lower Rappahannock watershed. Can I get assistance with a living shoreline, rain garden, pollinator garden, or oyster restoration? Contact Friends of the Rappahannock Tidal River Steward Anne Self, Tappahannock Office