Virginia Special Area Management Planning

Virginia CZM Program LogoVirginia CZM Program Special Area Management Plans

The Virginia CZM Program has been using a special coastal zone management approach called 'special area management planning' to help solve local problems with local partners in special areas in Virginia's coastal zone.  SAMPS were completed in the the Southern Watersheds of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, and in Northampton County and are currently being implemented in the Dragon Run watershed and on the Seaside of Virginia's Eastern Shore. 

Seaside Special Area Management Plan (current project)

Dragon Run Watershed Special Area Management Plan (completed)

Northampton County Special Area Management Plan (completed)

Southern Watersheds Area Management Plan (SWAMP) - Chesapeake and Virginia Beach (completed) 


Seaside Special Area Management Plan

2006 - 2010 Seaside SAMP Effort:

Virginia CZM Program 2006 - 2010 309 Strategy for the Seaside SAMP (PDF)

In 1990 the Virginia CZM Program initiated a Northampton County Special Area Management Plan.  While much was accomplished, zoning to protect sensitive natural areas was never adopted. In 2002 the Virginia CZM Program initiated the Virginia Seaside Heritage Program.  The goals of that program are to restore the coastal habitats of the seaside of Virginia’s Eastern Shore and to promote, in a sustainable fashion, economic activities such as ecotourism and aquaculture. The Seaside Heritage Program was funded through Section 306/306A of the CZMA.          

As the Virginia CZM Program moved beyond habitat restoration, ecotourism and aquaculture into a management plan for the seaside, the Seaside Heritage Program activities were expanded into traditional SAMP activities; i.e. the development of new enforceable policies that would serve to protect the program's investments on the seaside. 

Grant projects addressing this strategy:

FY 2007 Projects
96.01  Virginia Institute of Marine Science Estuarine Blue Infrastructure: Priority Conservation Areas for the Seaside of Virginia's Eastern Shore 
96.02 Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission Seaside SAMP: Buildout analysis using Community Viz
FY 2008 Projects
93.03  William & Mary Center for Conservation Biology  An Investigation of a Hemispherically Important Migratory Staging Area for Whimbrel Along the Seaside of the Delmarva Peninsula  
93.04  Virginia Eastern SHOREKEEPER  Seaside Special Area Management Plan: Recreational Use Survey & GIS Layer  
96.01 The Nature Conservancy Seaside Special Area Management Plan: Project Team Administration and Avian Distribution Evaluation
96.02 Virginia Institute of Marine Science Seaside Special Area Management Plan: Spatial Information Analysis and Interpretation for Shellfish Grounds and SAV Beds
FY 2009 Projects
96.01 The Nature Conservancy Seaside Special Area Management Plan: Project Team Administration and Habitat Distribution and Suitability Evaluation
96.02  Virginia Institute of Marine Science  Seaside Special Area Management Plan: Spatial Information Analysis and Interpretation for Shellfish Grounds and SAV Beds 
FY 2010 Projects
96.01 Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission Seaside Special Area Management Plan Phase 3 Technical Assistance
96.02  The Nature Conservancy Seaside Special Area Management Plan: Habitat Suitability and Evaluation Project Team Administration and Public Outreach Coordination
96.03  Virginia Institute of Marine Science  Seaside Special Area Management Plan: Synthesis and Evaluation
96.04  VIMS Center for Coastal Resources Management  Seaside SAMP: Geo-spatial Assessment of Activities Occurring on Privately Leased State-owned Bottom
FY 2011 Projects 
96  Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission  Seaside SAMP: Recreational & Cultural Uses on the Seaside and Adjacent Atlantic Ocean and SAV Restoration Goals
FY 2012 Projects 
96  Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission Seaside SAMP: Recreational & Commercial Fishing Uses on the Seaside and Adjacent Atlantic Ocean and SAV Restoration Goals

2011 - 2015 Seaside SAMP Effort:

Virginia CZM Program 2011 - 2015 309 Strategy for the Seaside SAMP (PDF)

The Seaside SAMP Strategy will develop, in essence, a Marine Spatial Plan for the Seaside’s barrier island lagoon system. This is an 80 mile long, 1-5 mile wide swath of shallow water that abounds with birds, finfish, shellfish and once again, underwater grasses. The area is renowned for its clam growing industry which is now valued at about $50 million per year. It’s also increasingly recognized for its ecotourism value due to the vast number of birds and other fascinating sights as well as its allure for kayakers.

The program change will require adoption by the Marine Resources Commission of a new approach to leasing state-owned bottom for shellfish cultivation, for providing more suitable areas for public shell fishing and for preserving areas for habitat protection and recreational uses. The current system of hard, immovable boundaries has been in place since the late 1800’s and now that new uses have emerged and suitability of areas for various uses has shifted, we need to adopt a more dynamic, flexible system that can allow use boundaries to shift as the environment changes and human needs and uses change.


Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan 

Dragon Run Special Area Management Program Successes Fact Sheet - June 2012 (pdf)

2006 - 2010 Dragon Run SAMP Effort:

Download Virginia CZM Program 2006 - 2010 309 Strategy for the Dragon Run SAMP

Initiated in 2001, the SAMP program has played an integral role in the development of policy in the Dragon Run Watershed.  Three of the four counties in the watershed adopted the Dragon Run Watershed Management Plan (WMP) as an addendum to their comprehensive plans.  The plan includes four recommendations on how each county can improve protection of the Dragon Run and preserve the watershed’s cultural, historic, and natural character, while preserving property rights and the watershed’s traditional uses (e.g. forestry, farming, recreation). By pursuing several of the action recommendations contained in the WMP, this strategy focuses on three areas of implementation: new zoning and comprehensive plans, sustainable economic development practices, and public access/conservation lands management.

List of SAMP Projects and Funding - 1986-2005  (under Sections 306, 306A and 309) (pdf)

Dragon Run SAMP website - maintained by the Middle Peninsula PDC

Virginia CZM Program grant projects addressing this strategy: 

FY 2005 Projects

91.01 VA Department of Environmental Quality Mercury Monitoring in Dragon Run/Piankatank River Airshed
FY 2006 Projects
95 Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission Special Area Management Plan for Dragon Run
95.01 VA Department of Environmental Quality Mercury Monitoring in Dragon Run/Piankatank River Airshed
FY 2007 Projects
95 Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission Dragon Run SAMP
FY 2008 Projects
95 Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission Dragon Run Special Area Management Planning (SAMP)
FY 2009 Projects
95 Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission Special Area Management Plan for Dragon Run
FY 2010 Projects
95 Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan


Northampton County Special Area Management Plan

Summary of Projects and Funding - 1990 - 2003 (under Sections 306, 306A and 309)


Southern Watersheds Special Area Management Plan (SWAMP)

List of SAMP Projects and Funding - 1992-2002 (under Sections 306, 306A and 309) (pdf)

SWAMP Fact Sheet - prepared by the Hampton Roads PDC - Fall 2005 - A detailed history and description of SWAMP initiatives

NOAA logo 

For comments or questions concerning this program's web pages, contact the Virginia Witmer.

This website is provided by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program through a federal Coastal Zone Management Act grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce.

Virginia SAMP Funding

Section 309 Programmatic Objective: Special Area Management Planning
Funding for coastal zone enhancement projects which create new enforceable policies in any of nine identified areas: wetlands, coastal hazards, public access, marine debris, cumulative and secondary impacts, special area management plans, ocean resources, energy and government facility siting and aquaculture. Section 309 funding is match-free.

Develop and implement special area management planning in coastal areas applying the following criteria:

  • areas including significant coastal resources (e.g., threatened and endangered species and their critical habitats, wetlands, waterbodies, fish and wildlife habitat) that are being severely affected by cumulative or secondary impacts;
  • areas where a multiplicity of local, state, and federal authorities prevents effective
    coordination and cooperation in addressing coastal development on an ecosystem basis;
  • areas with a history of long-standing disputes between various levels of government over coastal resources that has resulted in protracted negotiations over the acceptability of proposed uses;
  • there is a strong commitment at all levels of government to enter into a collaborative planning process to produce enforceable plans;
  • a strong state or regional entity exists which is willing and able to sponsor the planning program.

For more on Section 309 go to - Virginia Coastal Needs Assessment and Strategy.

Current Funding for SAMPs Under CZMA Section 309 Grants
 
The Virginia CZM Program's 2006-2010 'Coastal Enhancement' Strategy included continued funding for the Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan, and development and implementation of a new SAMP for the Seaside of Virginia's Eastern Shore. Visit the Coastal Needs Assessment and Strategies page for a description and current funding.


Description of SAMPs and Highlights of SAMP Accomplishments and Outcomes (pdfs) - exhibit panels and fact sheets prepared by the Virginia CZM Program for presentation at the 13th Annual Coastal Zone Conference in Baltimore, MD, July 2003

(pdfs) - exhibit panels and fact sheets prepared by the Virginia CZM Program for presentation at the and (pdfs) - exhibit panels and fact sheets prepared by the Virginia CZM Program for presentation at the

Twelve Years of Special Area Management Planning in Virginia - Virginia CZM Program PP Presentation at the 13th Annual Coastal Zone Conference in Baltimore, MD, July 2003

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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