Thursday, April 5, 2018

E is for Elizabeth River

Anyone who lives and works in the southeastern Hampton Roads community of Virginia is familiar with the Elizabeth River.  It is a 6 mile long estuary, a partially-enclosed body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it and with a free connection to the open sea.  This map from the Elizabeth River Project site will give you an idea of its central location between the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk.  If you follow the Chesapeake Bay, listed there in the top right-hand section of the map, you will reach the Atlantic Ocean.

The Elizabeth River Project is an effort to restore the environmental health of this harbor, a vital military and commercial port facility for this area.

Back in 2006, Sophia and I took the Elizabeth River Ferry, a paddlewheel ferry over to Portsmouth for an educational event sponsored by the Elizabeth River Project.  We were homeschooling at the time and one of the local homeschool groups organized this outing as one of those "experience it to learn it" events.

Although we had lived in the area since 2003, I had always thought the Elizabeth River was named for Queen Elizabeth I.  It wasn't until we attended this event that we learned that it was in fact named for Princess Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of King James I of England.  She conducted the workshop and the kids loved her.

We had a fun day out and learned a lot about the Elizabeth River and the challenges it faced.  No one wants to be on an EPA list and the Elizabeth River Project is a collaborative effort to clean up the river and preserve it for the use of future generations.

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