Projects and Research

DuPont-Waynesboro Natural Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR)

Mercury from industrial activities at a former E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) facility in Waynesboro, VA, contaminated the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River, impacting fish, wildlife, and their habitats, including over 100 miles of river and associated floodplain and riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
habitat. Recreational fishing opportunities were also impacted from the mercury contamination, due to the fish consumption advisories on the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River. Natural Resource Trustees, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Commonwealth of Virginia, worked cooperatively with DuPont for over 10 years to study the impacts of mercury on natural resources. In July 2017, the Trustees received a settlement of $42,069,916.78 to address natural resource damages. The funds are being used to implement restoration projects that will benefit the same fish, wildlife, habitat, and human use that were impacted by the mercury release.

The South River in Waynesboro, VA looking across to the DuPont facility.

Restoration categories include:

  • Water quality and fish habitat restoration, such as agricultural and urban best management practices
  • Freshwater mussel propagation and restoration
  • Neotropical migratory songbird full life cycle restoration
  • Land protection, property acquisition, and recreational and wildlife enhancements
  • Recreational fishing improvement projects and renovation of a Virginia fish hatchery

Restoration efforts have been underway since 2017. The Interactive Mapperdisplays the restoration projects selected to date in and near the South Fork Shenandoah River watershed.