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Virginia Coastal Program: 2008 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:

10

Grantee:

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Project Title:

CZM/Taylor Tract Acquisition at Kiptopeke State Park

Project Description as Proposed:

Since 1991 the Virginia CZM Program has been concerned about the loss of migratory bird stopover habitat at the tip of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Studies funded by the Coastal Program have shown that this area supports huge numbers of songbirds, raptors and other birds as they stop to rest and feed during their southward migration to Central and South America each fall. Development pressures in this area have increased each year and land values have skyrocketed in the past few years.

Land acquisition or easements remain the best protection tool we have. FY ’03, FY ’04, FY ‘05 and FY’06 funds were used to purchase percentages of the Bull tract which is just south of the Dept. of Game Inland Fisheries “GATR” tract and east of route 13. This area falls within the southern tip “critical habitat” area defined by the VA CZM Program funded research conducted in 1990-1992. from TNC as funds were secured.

For an acquisition using FY 2008 funds, the Virginia CZM Program will rely on guidance from the “Southern Tip Partners,” an interagency group formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by agency heads, who are collaboratively prioritizing additional parcels for acquisition of migratory bird habitat on the southern tip of the Eastern Shore. About 26 parcels have been identified that together comprise about 2,000 acres. FY 2008 funds as well as FY 2007 funds will be targeted toward a single parcel in the southern tip.

Federal Funding:

$200,000

Project Contact:

Laura McKay, 804.698.4323; Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

Project Status:

10/1/2008 - 9/30/2009; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

CZM/Taylor Tract Acquisition at Kiptopeke State Park Final Report (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

     At a January 2009 meeting of the “Southern Tip Partnership,” (a group of 5 conservation agencies – USFWS, DCR, DGIF, TNC and the Virginia CZM Program – formally brought together through a Memorandum of Understanding: see http://deq.virginia.gov/coastal/eslandconservation.html ) agreed to pursue acquisition of a 26 acre in-holding at Kiptopeke Sate Park.  The parcel fronts on Route 13, has a 5 acre pond, a house in poor condition and fallow agricultural fields. The site is within the critical migratory songbird stopover area on the southern tip of the Eastern Shore and is ideal for conversion to migratory songbird habitat that would be connected to existing habitat areas.
     The parcel was purchased in July 2009 by one of the Southern Tip partners, The Nature Conservancy, and held until grant funds could be put in place. In October of 2009 the Virginia CZM Program sought and received NOAA approval to expend CZM funds on a grant to DCR to purchase the parcel from TNC.  Virginia CZM provided all funding for the project by using $244,846 from its FY 2007 Task 11 and $200,000 from its FY 2008 Task 10 (this project) along with $202,093 which had been donated to the Virginia CZM Program by James Taylor who gave a benefit concert in May 2008 to support the program’s songbird habitat protection efforts.
     In December 2009 the Department of Conservation & Recreation closed on the property which is now part of Kiptopeke State Park. The site is being restored to migratory songbird habitat with CZM funds from FY 2008 Task 13.  The Park plans to locate a new environmental education center on the site when state funds become available.  The site will have trails connecting to other parts of the park, interpretive signage, a native plants demonstration garden and wildlife observation blinds also funded through FY 2008 Task 13.

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 to Virginia.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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