Virginia CZM Program 2009 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:

12.05

Grantee:

Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Middle Peninsula Climate Change Adaptation Phase 2- Facilitation of Presentations and Discussions of Climate Change Issues with Local Elected Officials and the General Public

Project Description as Proposed:

As a result of the Climate Change Advisory Committee developed in Year 1 of the Climate Change project, anthropogenic and ecological impacts were identified. During Year 1, MPPDC staff created maps to illustrate these concerns and associated public policy issues. To progress toward the development of public policy recommendations in Year 3, Year 2 of this project will focus on prioritization of anthropogenic and ecological impacts from a local adaptation and education perspective. Education and outreach will be directed towards the general public as well as elected officials.

As the public becomes more educated, the MPPDC climate change staff will consult with administrators in regards to offering climate change education to their staff, planning commission and governing bodies. MPPDC staff will also coordinate with the Virginia NEMO Program and the DEQ Division of Environmental Education regarding their climate change adaptation outreach efforts. At the regional level, MPPDC staff will utilize an automated response system to facilitate the education of elected officials and staff.

Maps illustrating specific and anticipated anthropogenic and ecological impacts generated in Year 1 of this project will be shared with elected officials at the local and regional level. Officials will be interviewed to determine the level of understanding of climate change and asked to prioritize localized anthropogenic and ecological impacts that local policy could impact. MPPDC will purchase Qwizdom: Interactive Response System (hardware and software). MPPDC staff will develop an education program and engage all MPPDC elected and appointed officials in a climate change answer and question process. Using Qwizdom as the collection tool ensures 100% participation by elected officials. MPPDC staff will then be able to identify topic areas of concern where general understanding by elected officials is lacking.

Federal Funding:

$38,000

Project Contact:

Lewie L. Lawrence - 804.758.2311: llawrence@mppdc.com

Project Status:

10/1/2009 - 9/30/2010; Project completed

Final Product Received:

Middle Peninsula Climate Change Adaptation Phase 2 – Facilitation of Presentations and Discussions of Climate Change Issues with Local Elected Officials and the General Public (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

Although climate change is a global phenomenon, local strategies to adapt and plan for climate changes will be important to protect public safety, health and welfare. With well over 1,000 miles of linear shoreline in the Middle Peninsula, there is a considerable amount of coastline that may be directly impacted by climate change and sea level rise. The Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, in the midst of a three year endeavor, has worked with member localities and stakeholder groups to assess and discuss potential climate change and sea level rise impacts to the region. In particular, phase I of this project focused on the collection, assessment and analysis of potential ecologic (ie. wetlands, conserved lands, etc) and anthropogenic (ie. personal property, public property, etc) impacts of climate change, specifically due to sea level rise. The information gathered during phase I acted as a foundation to develop an educational program for local elected official and the general public in phase II of this project.
           
As climate change and sea level rise still remain a very unsettled issue amongst Middle Peninsula constituents and local elected officials, Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC) staff developed an educational program to continue dialogue about this issue and to begin to discuss local government’s role in managing potential climate change and sea level rise impacts. Through the use of Qwizdom software, an audience response system that utilizes hand held remotes and an interactive tablet to engage the audience on a topic of interest, feedback gathered from the Piankatank Civic Group, local planning staff, and the Mathews County Rotary Club was organized and summarized in a cumulative findings report. The report demonstrates discrepancies between stakeholder group knowledge and beliefs with regard to climate change and sea level. However, through each group interaction, a better understanding of social perceptions of these issues was obtained which will assist in future educational outreach efforts as well as policy development.  

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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