5320 Palmer La., Suite 2A
Williamsburg, VA 23188
Hours of Operation
7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Clean Water Heritage
Welcome to James City County’s Clean Water Heritage Program, which has been established to equip citizens to make better decisions about actions, which affect water quality and informing them about services, provided by the County’s Stormwater Program.
The Jefferson Scallop, also known as Chesapecten jeffersonius, embodies James City County’s Clean Water Heritage Program. This scallop shell is actually a fossil, commonly found along stream valleys and on river beaches near the James and York Rivers.
- The distinctive shells were noticed by the Jamestown settlers who saw Native Americans using them for bowls and tools.
- The first North American fossil to be illustrated in a scientific publication, the shell was included in Martin Lister’s 1687 Historiae Conchyliorum.
- By the 1800’s, Virginians used the shells for building foundations, dishes and water ladles.
- In 1824, the fossil was named by Thomas Say to honor Thomas Jefferson.
- Students from the College of William & Mary provided members of the General Assembly with fossil shells found near Jamestown, which led to the adoption of the Chesapecten jeffersonius scallop as the Virginia State Fossil in 1993.
This scallop is a fitting reminder and symbol of James City County’s Clean Water Heritage. Bounded by three historic rivers, the York, the James and the Chickahominy, the County’s abundant natural resources contribute to a high quality of life. County residents and visitors alike have long valued the County’s scenic setting and opportunities for fishing, boating, photography, walking and swimming.
Together we can protect and restore our Clean Water Heritage.