Virginia CZM Program 2008 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:

12.07

Grantee:

Richmond Regional Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Central Virginia Blue-Green Infrastructure Protection

Project Description as Proposed:

The Richmond Regional Planning District Commission (PDC) proposes a two-phased, multi-year project to educate on the topics of and implement conservation corridor planning and implementation, climate change adaption planning, and green infrastructure planning and implementation. During Phase I, the PDC will work with Crater PDC and the Green Infrastructure Center to identify and map natural resource features within the two PDC regions that should be considered for inclusion in a bi-regional green infrastructure overlay and conservation corridor that links directly with the same in the remainder of Virginia's Coastal Zone in order to form a green infrastructure and conservation corridor framework throughout the entire Coastal Zone of Virginia.

Federal Funding:

$52,332

Project Contact:

Jackie Stewart - 804.367.6001; jstewart@richmondregional.org

Project Status:

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

Final Product Received:

Richmond-Crater Region Green Infrastructure Final Report (pdf)
Richmond-Crater Region Green Infrastructure Project Presentation (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

Generally defined, green infrastructure is a strategically managed network of natural lands, working lands and other natural spaces, that provides numerous benefits - ecological and economic - to human and wildlife populations. More specifically, green infrastructure provides for habitat preservation and diversity, water filtration and storage, and improved air quality.

This grant year marked the first phase of a multi-year, phased project. Phase I of the Blue-Green Infrastructure project was a partnership project among the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission (RRPDC), the Crater Planning District Commission (CPDC), and the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC). Phase I entailed an extensive regional mapping effort for green infrastructure assets and the development of associated conservation strategies. A major part of the Phase I mapping effort was an update to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Division of Natural Heritage's Virginia Conservation Lands Needs Assessment (VCLNA) natural landscape assessment data model. The VCLNA natural landscape assessment model uses geospatial analysis to identify, prioritize, and link patches of natural land. PDC staffs, in conjunction with GIC staff and DCR staff, developed a data model update methodology. The update methodology took the original data model that was current as of year 2000 and updated it to be current as of year 2007. Phase I of the project has revealed a striking change from 2000 to 2007 in lost natural land cover and wildlife habitat in the two PDCs. Links to maps depicting this drastic change as well as other project materials are available on the project website:
http://richmondregional.org/Planning/green%20infrastructure.htm.

A review committee was created to inform Phase I of the project as work progressed; the committee consisted of local government representatives, land conservation groups, and other organizations. Using feedback gathered from the project review committee at numerous committee meetings, PDC staffs and GIC staff worked to finalize a regional green infrastructure map that includes critically important habitat and corridor resources across the Richmond and Crater Planning Districts. As well, PDC staff and GIC staff identified regional opportunities for blue-green infrastructure within and across the two planning districts. The green infrastructure map and regional opportunities are presented in a bi-regional report that also includes discussions on defining green infrastructure, describing the role of green infrastructure in the natural environment and the built environment, and the economic benefits of green infrastructure. The report can be found on the project website listed above.

The GIS data layers used in the regional green infrastructure map and other maps produced during Phase I have been
consolidated into a geodatabase that has been provided to the review committee members, PDC staff, and GIC staff. In addition, PDC staffs worked with the GIC to finalize a standardized presentation for use by the PDCs or their constituent localities that explains the green infrastructure concept and work accomplished to date.

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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