Lower James

The lower portion of the 340-mile James River begins at the Virginia fall line, near Richmond, and flows into the Chesapeake Bay near the cities of Newport News and Norfolk, Virginia. At the fall line, the river descends 84 feet over the course of 3 miles. The total area of the James River watershed is 10,000 square miles; the Lower James comprises 1,800 square miles of that area. The mouth of the James River is near the mouth of the Elizabeth River near Norfolk, Virginia. This portion of the watershed is heavily developed. The historic settlement of Jamestown is on this portion of the James River. (Based on James River Buffer Program and U.S. Geological Survey.)