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Virginia CZM Program 2009 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:



Northern Virginia Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Climate Change Adaptation: Sustainable Shoreline Community Management in Northern Virginia; Phase II

Project Description as Proposed:

Phase II will focus on refining the sea level rise and storm surge vulnerability map in Northern Virginia by filling data gaps identified through Phase I. Also, Phase II will begin the development of adaptation strategy recommendations, informed by a survey of waterfront property owners, for integration into local comprehensive planning documents and tools.

The workgroup established during Phase I will continue to provide important insight in the development of the vulnerability map and adaptation strategy recommendations through five meetings. Between meetings, workgroup members will collaborate in online discussion forums on the project's Chesapeake Watershed Network site. Chesapeake/Virginia NEMO will continue as project partners in supporting workgroup planning, outreach to officials, and providing co-facilitation services.

Working with state university environmental and GIS departments, natural resources data will be collected and digitized into a useful format, compatible with Coastal GEMS. The results of this effort will provide a better understanding of the impacts to natural and man-made resources due to sea level rise, in particular. With assistance from the Virginia Cooperative Extension - Northern District Office (a core VNEMO partner), two economic evaluations will be conducted to better understand the financial implications of sea level rise and storm surge. Workgroup members will provide insight on aspects that are of utmost importance for this analysis. The analysis will include impacts to market costs (change in anything physically located on the ground - roads, houses, and infrastructure etc.) and impacts on non-market costs (the change in environmental services, including changes in water quality and habitat).

Phase II will build on Phase I by improving the region's understanding of impacts due to projected sea level rise and storm surge and it will set the stage for implementing recommended strategies in Phase III.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Laura Grape, (703) 642-4625;

Project Status:

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

Final Product Received:

Sustainable Shorelines Community Management in Northern Virginia Phase II Report (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

NVRC’s Climate Change Adaptation: Sustainable Shorelines Community Management in NOVA completed its focus on the vulnerability assessment mapping and policy analysis using the feedback from the coastal zone survey of waterfront property owners. With the workgroup input and participation, the Draft Adaptation Strategy Report was developed for existing development, future development, critical infrastructure and natural resources. This report serves as a plan to assist in the integration of the strategies and recommendations into local planning tools, ordinances, and policies.

During the development of the Adaptation Strategy Report, NVRC staff had the opportunity to present adaptation options with the jurisdictions, based on the Policy Inventory report  (phase I), at the Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Workshop and staff also moderated a session/dialogue on Local Government Responses to Climate Change.  Since that time, the project focused on sharing the results of the Vulnerability Assessment Mapping and the policy analysis with local, state, and regional offices. Specific outcomes of those meetings drove the draft Adaptation Strategy Report, specifically relating to the possible incorporation of information and data into the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.  The Workgroup will continue to meet as the project continues into the next phase. The Vulnerability Assessment focused on the hot spots within the study area, giving a clear direction for the jurisdictions to focus resources and analysis for further protection.  NVRC recommended that localities concentrate their attention on the areas identified through the assessment to determine adaptive management strategies to protect communities from future permanent inundation.

There was tremendous value in engaging a diverse workgroup early in the project. By participating in the workgroup meetings, these individuals became valuable resources for the respective organizations, spreading the work of the group farther than the initial workgroup.   

The Report includes the Workgroup Outcomes, the Vulnerability Assessment, and the Adaptation Strategy, and will be available on-line at

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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