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Virginia Coastal Program: 2009 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:

81

Grantee:

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Project Title:

Coastal Nonpoint Source Program Management

Project Description as Proposed:

Funding through this grant will be used to continue to support the Coastal NPS Program Manager to implement and administer the Virginia Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Program through implementation of the NOAA Section 310 Program at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Soil and Water. This includes the oversight of programs, projects, grants and grant budgets, providing technical support to VDCR Division of Soil and Water and the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, as it relates to coastal zone ecology, management, and restoration.

The Coastal NPS Program Manager will represent VCU and/or DCR on various state and federal working groups and technical advisory committees, including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Zone Management Program and Coastal Nonpoint Source Program meetings, Coastal Policy Team, Virginia Network for Education of Municipal Officials Program, Green Infrastructure Working Group, Chesapeake Bay Program, and the Virginia Stream Alliance.  In addition, the Program Manager will prepare semiannual and annual reports and other technical documents.

This position will also continue to participate in state, local, or federal working groups as needed with regard to coastal nonpoint source pollution issues and as the VDCR deems necessary.  During this grant period, VCU and VDCR will seek additional funding to support the expansion of the VNEMO Program to meet the demand in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Environmental Scientist will continue to be retained through a contractual arrangement with the Center for Environmental Studies (CES) located at Virginia Commonwealth University to serve as the Manager of the Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Program at the Department of Conservation and Recreation.  This staff position  will continue to work directly with DCR staff and have access to the facilities and expertise of CES as well. The position also serves as a liaison between DCR and the Center for Environmental Studies at VCU to promote joint, applied research and outreach projects.

Funding through this grant will be used to continue to support the Coastal NPS Program Manager to implement the Virginia Network for Education of Municipal Officials Program (VNEMO). The Virginia NEMO Program is a partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Office of NOAA/EPA/NPS (Chesapeake NEMO) and the state of Virginia to provide, request based, education and/or technical assistance to localities in Virginia. A partnership with Virginia Tech and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Community Viability Program was developed to increase the capacity of the Program due to their targeting of local government for planning assistance. Their approach is a good fit with the VNEMO effort as it expands the current services/assistance that can be provided. The VNEMO Program Network is made up of representative service providers in the DCR Regional Offices (Regional Managers and Watershed/TMDL Coordinators), DCR Division of Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance (DCBLA), other state agencies, planning district commissions, soil and water conservation districts, watershed groups and NFWF contractors.

The Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials Program (NEMO) was created at the University of Connecticut in the early 1990s to provide information, education and assistance to local land use boards and commissions on how they can accommodate growth while protecting their natural resources and community character. The VNEMO Program will provide request based support to the PDCs and localities requesting assistance through the VCZM Sustainable Community Planning Focal Area. The VNEMO Program will support the efforts of developing the Virginia Healthy Waters and Healthy Lands Initiative by facilitating the many partners around the topic of natural resources based land use planning to further statewide coordination of assistance to localities. Currently, there exists no state agency leading the state on this topic.


Federal Funding:

$121,200

Project Contact:

Todd Janeski, (804) 371-8984; todd.janeski@dcr.virginia.gov

Project Status:

10/1/2009 - 3/31/2010; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

Virginia Coastal Nonpoint Program Management FY 09 Report (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

The Environmental Analyst, at the Virginia Commonwealth University, continued to serve as the Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program (CNPS) Manager for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Due to the extremely limited funding to support the 56 Management Measures as outlined in the 6217 Guidance, the focus of the Coastal NPS Program is the administration and implementation of the Virginia Network for Education of Municipal Officials Program (VNEMO).  The VCU Environmental Analyst/ Coastal NPS Program Manager is the lead of the VNEMO Program, and under this Task is focused on the continued expansion beyond the pilot site to the Coastal Zone and support of the regional Sustainable Shoreline and Green Infrastructure Projects. This role is to lead in the development and implementation of a coordinated, collaborative approach to delivering technical assistance to localities to achieve VDCR, VCZM and associated Bay Program goals.

Through continued efforts to improve and expand the capacity of the VNEMO Program, a reporting period focus was to develop continued internal capabilities of State personnel to meet the demands locally and future potential due to Virginia Stormwater Management Program implementation and the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan, Phase 2. The increase in capacity was provided through three directed trainings in group process, facilitation and conflict resolution. The NOAA Coastal Services Center was secured to provide training and technical assistance. Participants included the VDCR field staff from the Divisions of Soil and Water, Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance, and Natural Heritage; VDEQ Education and Outreach Program; VIMS Coastal Resources Center and the Coastal Planning District Commissions.

During the project duration, The CNP Program Manager partnered with the Chesapeake NEMO, Maryland Chesapeake and Coastal Program, NOAA OCRM and others to develop a Pre-Forum workshop on Climate Change Adaptation Planning that was held prior to the Chesapeake Watershed Forum in Shepherdstown, WVA, in October 2009. The CNP Program Manager provided an overview presentation of various US case studies presenting local government responses to climate change as well as an introduction to climate change adaptation planning.

During the grant cycle, the CNP Program Manager successfully secured a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant for $700,000 to develop a low impact development research, testing, certification and training facility at the Virginia Science Museum. This project purpose is to demonstrate, teach and monitor such practices as porous pavement. Part of the project installation is a 12000sf green roof, 22,000sf of porous pavement, two bioretention cells, four tree well filters and a rainwater harvesting system that will serve the museum’s exterior water needs. The project includes an analysis of the CSO system and develops a CSO management plan that focuses on source control as a means of managing CSO events. A cost benefit analysis will be done to communicate the economic benefits of using LID to solve the challenges of CSO issues. The project will include a significant climate change adaptation component evaluating the cost benefit of utilizing LID as an adaptation strategy to address CSOs. The VCU Climatologist, NOAA CSC, NOAA Weather and other project partners are modeling the hydrologic changes due to climate change for the region and are modifying the LID CSO Study to compare the potential changes in hydrology that may affect the Richmond region and demonstrating how a proactive approach can reduce the costs to the City in their CSO program.

In addition, the CNP Program Manager worked closely with the regional planning commissions in support of the Sustainable Shoreline Focal Area projects. Specifically, under the guidance of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, VNEMO provided a Program partner, Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension Economist, to assist in the economic analysis portion of the project. The VNEMO program also assisted in the development of the facilitation process for project and public meeting and engagement efforts as well as directly assisted in the facilitation of public meetings.

The CNP Program Manager partnered with the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission to develop a NFWF proposal to implement a nutrient management strategy based upon a working waterfront model. Funding within this reporting cycle was directed to the Virginia Department of Forestry to support the development of the Virginia Urban Tree Canopy assessment. The Virginia Urban Tree Canopy Project has been implemented to support the needs of Virginia’s localities to establish and attain canopy cover goals. 

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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For comments or questions concerning this program's web pages, contact Virginia Witmer.

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This website is provided by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program through a federal Coastal Zone Management Act grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce.

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


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