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Virginia CZM Program 2006 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:



University of Virginia

Project Title:

Monthly Seminar Series on Virginia Seaside Heritage Program

Project Description as Proposed:

The ultimate goal of this project is to promote and produce a monthly public seminar series at the Anhueser Busch Coastal Research Center in Northampton County, Virginia centered on research and management activities supported through the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VA CZM) and Seaside Heritage Program (SHP). Seminars will be free and open to the public and will feature researchers and resource managers currently working in and around Northampton and Accomack County, VA. In order to further inform the public and local science community concerning research and management activities supported through the VA CZM and SHP an annual public program forum will also be organized and implemented. This multi-day forum will be held at the Eastern Shore Community College or other appropriate venue. Program participants will give presentations on various Seaside projects detailing project objectives, methodologies and results. Each presentation will be followed by a brief question and answer period. Panel discussions and a synthesis session will work to tie individual projects together in order to show how the goals of the VA CZM and SHP are being met by the funded projects.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Arthur Schwarzschild, (757) 331-1246;

Project Status:

10/1/2006 - 9/30/2007

Final Product Received:

Final Project Summary serves as Final Product.

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

The monthly seminar series was initiated in September 2007 at the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center. The purpose of the seminar series is to provide the local public with an opportunity to learn about environmental research, management and restoration projects being conducted on the Eastern Shore of Virginia supported through the Coastal Zone Management/Seaside Heritage Program and the Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research Program. Seminars are held on the third Thursday of every month, start at 7:00 PM, and are free and open to the public, but seating is limited to the first 50 people. Refreshments and light snacks are provided. The seminar schedule and information about upcoming seminars is posted on the ABCRC web page ( Announcements are also sent to everyone who signs up for our mailing list (currently including more than 150 e-mail addresses), are posted in the local newspapers and included in local newsletters. To date over 15 seminars have been presented. Attendance has varied from 10 - 50 people, depending on local interest in the topic being presented, weather conditions and conflicts with other scheduled events. Total attendance at the 14 seminars supported under this grant was 370. Speakers for the seminars included faculty, staff and advanced graduate students from the University of Virginia, William and Mary/VIMS, Virginia CZM Program, The Nature Conservancy, Dept. Conservation & Recreation, Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries, Marine Resources Commission, East Carolina University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Topics included, seagrass ecology, barrier island history, the seaside heritage program, oyster catcher ecology, sea turtle ecology, habitat restoration in support of migratory song birds, the VA natural heritage program, salt marshes and sea level rise, oyster restoration, seagrass restoration, hypoxia and dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay, impacts of climate change on the Eastern Shore, stream and catchment hydrology, and the ecology of barrier island upland communities. Seminar attendees included local high school students (who may receive extra credit for attending and presenting a summary of the seminar to their class) and members of the Master Gardeners and Master Naturalist programs who may receive advanced training credits.

Due to the popularity of the seminar series, it is continuing even after the CZM funding has ended. 2009 seminars were scheduled for:

February 19, Libby Mojica, College of William and Mary, Bald Eagles in the Chesapeake Bay

March 19, Rachel Michaels, UVA, Fiddler crabs and salt marsh biogeochemistry

April 16, Mike Erwin, UVA/USGS, Sea level rise and migratory birds

May 21, Jonathan Cohen, VA Tech, Ecology of Red Knots on the Eastern Shore

June 18, Mark Brinson, ECU, Misconceptions about rising sea level.

In addition to the seminar series, funding from the CZM program was also used to support the initiation of a social marketing campaign (Plant E. Shore Natives) aimed at increasing the use of native plants in gardens and landscape projects on the Eastern Shore. The ABCRC served as host and facilitator for several planning meetings, and funding was used to support several focus groups, where critical social research/data was collected.

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email:

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to

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

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