What We Do
The Secretary of Natural Resources advises the Governor on natural resources issues and works to advance the Governor's top environmental priorities. The Secretary oversees six agencies that protect and restore the Commonwealth’s natural and historic resources. The Secretary's office and all of the natural resources agencies work together to uphold the provisions of Article XI of the Virginia Constitution:
To the end that the people have clean air, pure water, and the use and enjoyment for recreation of adequate public lands, waters, and other natural resources, it shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to conserve, develop, and utilize its natural resources, its public lands, and its historical sites and buildings.
Further, it shall be the Commonwealth's policy to protect its atmosphere, lands, and waters from pollution, impairment, or destruction, for the benefit, enjoyment, and general welfare of the people of the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) is mandated by the Commonwealth of Virginia to conduct research and provide sound scientific advice concerning the often-contentious issues surrounding use and conservation of marine resources.
In the years since their founding in 1940, they have developed unique capabilities in people, practices, and infrastructure that allow us to provide the honest, unbiased science and guidance needed to help address the pressing issues facing our rivers, estuaries, coasts, and ocean.
DuPont NRDAR Settlement Submissions Open
DuPont released mercury, a toxin that causes adverse effects in fish and wildlife, from its former facility in Waynesboro, Virginia between 1929 and 1950. The mercury continues to affect fish and wildlife along the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River watershed.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Secretary of Natural Resources (the Trustees) worked cooperatively with DuPont to assess potential impacts, and the Trustees proposed a settlement that includes over $42 million for restoration projects. The United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia approved the settlement on July 28, 2017. The Trustees are now working to implement the best projects to benefit the injured natural resources across the impacted watershed.