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Cleaning Up Around Paradise Creek with Elizabeth River Project - Paradise Creek Remediation

March 16, 2021 | In The Community

Waterfront Law Team Participates in Paradise Creek Cleanup

On March 13, Matthew Hull, James Lang, Jeff Wilson and Thomas Berkeley from our Waterfront Law Team teamed up with Elizabeth River Project to clean the land around Paradise Creek in Portsmouth, Virginia. "At Paradise Creek Nature Park we rely on volunteer groups like the Waterfront Law Group from Pender and Coward for projects all over the park" said Larry LaPell, Elizabeth River Project, Paradise Creek environmental educator. "This Saturday the group relocated numerous plants and bushes in preparation for our upcoming building expansion and removed invasive vines from our native trees. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have an organization like the Waterfront Law Group as regular volunteers."

Paradise Creek Remediation

Paradise Creek is a tributary of the Elizabeth River, and the creek became overwhelmed after years of dredging and filling the Elizabeth River. Paradise Creek was labelled as one of the most polluted waterways in America and has undergone intense restoration over the last two decades. Elizabeth River Project presented a plan to restore the creek with key goals focused on:

  • Cleaning up creek sediment
  • Restoring and conserving land
  • Discovering solutions to stormwater pollution
  • Restoring Navy landfill sites
  • Returning land to productive use
  • Forming a plan to educating the public about restoration, volunteer opportunities and history of the land

Remediation Efforts

The Paradise Creek remediation efforts, spearheaded by Elizabeth River Project, include dredging to clear contaminated sediment and habitat restoration through wetlands areas. In the past, Paradise Creek was used as a dump site, and as a result toxins and trash have accumulated on the bottom of the river and throughout the area. The restoration project's goal is to transform the area into a nature park in Portsmouth, and become a hub for a variety of recreational activities.

To date, over 300,000 cubic yards of dredge spoils have been removed from the creek that has led to restoring tidal wetlands for wildlife and water quality. As restoration efforts continue over 40 acres within the area, Elizabeth River Project has continued its efforts to improve the area with clean up events such as the one our Waterfront Law team has participated in.

Restoration efforts also included paving a road and a parking lot that's intended to keep polluted stormwater run-off from entering the creek. The materials used to form the road and parking lot are designed to filter polluted stormwater and return it back into the ground water supply.

Paradise Creek's impressive restoration efforts have transformed the nature park into a hub for recreational activities. Learn more about volunteer activities at Paradise Creek with Elizabeth River Project, and how you can help restore one of the nation's largest public parks.

About The Author

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Jim uses waterfront (riparian) property rights law, maritime & admiralty law, and environmental law to protect Virginians who live, work and play on the water. Contact Jim at (757) 502-7326 or