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Virginia CZM Program 2009 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:



Virginia Commonwealth University

Project Title:

Coastal GEMS Maintenance

Project Description as Proposed:

The Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Environmental Studies has created the Coastal Geospatial and Educational Mapping System, or Coastal GEMS, through FY2003 Task 95.011 and FY2006 Task 93.04 in partnership with the Virginia CZM Program and Worldview Solutions, Inc. Coastal GEMS is a gateway, or starting point, for accessing more comprehensive coastal resource information which should be considered in planning efforts and in making management decisions. This gateway provides data and maps of the best remaining blue and green infrastructure in Virginia’s coastal zone from across state agencies and organizations, as well as information on the value and current management of those resources.

Contributing agencies and organizations will continue to communicate and have open dialog with CZM Program and VCU, and provide their best available data for Coastal GEMS updates. Data will be edited or updated as determined by VCU/CZM staff, as their availability is essential in ensuring informed decisions are made with regard to sensitive coastal resources. New data will be added as they are developed through Virginia CZM Program grants or are contributed from a partnering agency or organization.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

William J. Shuart, (804) 827-0150; or Nicholas Meade, (804) 698-4297;

Project Status:

10/1/09 - 9/30/10; Project completed

Final Product Received:

Coastal GEMS Maintenance - FY 09 Annual Report (October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2010) (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

-Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Environmental Studies (VCU CES) continued to host the Coastal GEMS online mapping application through the FY09 grant period, and VCU CES staff performed routine maintenance and updates on Coastal GEMS during this time.  -Tasks were to refresh map services, to update data and cartography in the map file as per CZM staff request, and to install software and security upgrades. Coastal Gems remained operational throughout the FY09 grant period and was only offline to install software/security updates or to refresh map services.  -During the FY09 grant period, at CZM staff request, VCU CES staff updated the data and symbology on six currently in production GEMS layers and added four new data layers to the application. Layers updated in this period include: SAV Coverage, Seaside Phragmites, Conservation Lands, Public Oyster (Baylor) Grounds, Private Oyster Leases, and Condemned Shellfish Areas. Layers added in this period include: 3 Nautical Mile and 12 Nautical Mile reference layers, Priority Conservation Areas, and Potential Wetland Restoration. -Google Analytics services for Coastal GEMS set up by VCU CES staff remained operational throughout the FY09 grant period. Google Analytics sends an email PDF report to CZM staff weekly to show access and web statistics for the Gems application and VCU CES staff created additional reports at CZM staff request by querying specific date ranges.   -From October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010, Coastal GEMS received 1,527 visits from 743 unique visitors resulting in 1,990 pageviews and an average site visit time of 1 minute and 44 seconds. The full Google Analytics report for the Coastal GEMS mapping application during the FY09 grant period can be found on the following four pages.  

-To see more, visit Coastal GEMS 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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