Virginia CZM Program: 2006 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:

94.02

Grantee:

Virginia Institute of Marine Science - Center for Coastal Resources Management

Project Title:

Recommendations for Revisions to the Wetlands Guidelines

Project Description as Proposed:

The Center for Coastal Resources Management, VIMS, has undertaken an initiative to provide integrated scientific guidance for better-informed decision-making regarding Virginia’s shoreline systems.  To conform to the current thinking on integrated coastal management, the guidance must be adaptive, ignore jurisdictional boundaries and identify choices that promote environmental and economic sustainability.  Currently, some shoreline management practices permitted under Virginia’s multiple intertidal, riparian, and shallow water regulatory programs are potentially detrimental to water quality and aquatic resources. This is a result of inconsistent or outdated technical guidance across the variety of local and state programs managing shoreline development activities.  These programs utilize a variety of guidance documents including the Wetlands Guidelines, Subaqueous Guidelines, and guidance on local government implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, among others.  There are, however, no comprehensive guidelines that meet the over-arching objective of maintenance and improvement of Virginia’s water quality and aquatic resources.    

We propose the production of a revised Wetland Guidelines document on a parallel track with our on-going integrated guidance initiative.  The Wetlands Guidelines will be based upon the current scientific understanding of the ecology of wetlands and their role in the landscape.  The document will provide an overview of the state of the science and identify environmental preferences and supporting rationale for shoreline management options.  While we are working toward a comprehensive set of guidance materials for integrated coastal management, we are cognizant of the need for stand-alone guidance documents in support of legislative mandates.  As such, the document will include “draft' Guidelines for consideration and adoption by the Marine Resources Commission pursuant to Section 28.2.1301 of the Code of Virginia. 

The document will contain text and color graphics (charts, pictures, diagrams) to convey information.  We will coordinate with VMRC, the state lead agency on tidal wetlands management.  Choices regarding content, context and design can reflect VMRC’s interest in using the document, or portions thereof, to promulgate revised regulations.   

The final deliverable will be a digital version of the formatted document and enough hard copies to meet the final report requirements for VCZMP.  The proposal budget does not include costs for printing the document. 

Federal Funding:

$45,000.00

Project Contact:

Pam Mason; (804) 684-7158; mason@vims.edu

Project Status:

10/1/2006 - 9/30/2006; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

Draft Tidal Wetlands Guidelines (PDF)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

The Center for Coastal Resources Management, VIMS, has undertaken an initiative to provide integrated scientific guidance regarding Virginia’s shoreline systems. Development of proposed revisions to the Wetland Guidelines document is one effort in an on-going guidance initiative.  The guidance initiative is designed to reflect the current thinking on integrated coastal management; the guidance should be adaptive, ignore jurisdictional boundaries and identify choices that promote environmental and economic sustainability. 

Currently, many shoreline management practices permitted through the existing regulatory framework within intertidal, riparian, and shallow water areas are having potentially significant negative impacts on water quality and aquatic resources.  The proposed changes to the Guidelines reflect current science and are ecosystem-based.   The document includes a new classifications scheme for tidal wetlands developed for management application. 

The document identifies criteria, preferred actions, for wetland activities consistent with wetlands conservation and sustainable ecosystem services.  The draft document has been provided to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and interagency coordination will proceed toward incorporation of changes into the Wetlands Guidelines.   

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:Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy toVirginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov

 

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


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