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Virginia CZM Program 2009 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Project Title:

Living Shorelines Website for Property Owners, Industry and Managers

Project Description as Proposed:

The Center for Coastal Resources Management, VIMS, has undertaken an initiative to provide integrated scientific guidance for better-informed decision-making regarding Virginia’s shoreline systems. A critical component of the initiative is the promotion of shoreline management approaches that are sustainable. Commonly called living shorelines, these are approaches that make the best use of natural features to protect property while preserving or enhancing ecosystem services. CCRM is already serving living shorelines information on our website. In the current construct, however, the website is a bit difficult to navigate and the information is “hidden” in documents and not easily accessible. Feedback on the website indicates an interest in a more user-friendly site, with different levels of information detail to serve the various users of the site. We propose to create a new living shorelines website to address the information needs of the various users involved in shoreline management.

We will convene three focus groups to solicit input on what would be most useful in terms of the technical level of information and the forms in which it is served (ie. tables, pictures, charts, text. etc.). The three groups will be residential property owners, industry, and regulators and decision-makers.

The website content will be based upon a review of the current scientific literature. The design will reflect the input from the focus groups. It is expected that there will be a hierarchy of webpages with pages built for the specific user groups. Some website content will be common to all users, while much of the content will reflect the needs of specific users.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Pam Mason, 804.684.7158;

Project Status:

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

Final Product Received:

Living Shorelines Website for Property Owners, Industry and Managers Report (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

The Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) completed work on a new, revised, Living Shorelines website served through the CCRM subsite on the Virginia Institute of Marine Science website.
Feedback on the previous website was that it was a bit confusing in the navigation and lacked some of the information needed. To seek input on the format and content of the new site VIMS conducted focus groups of agencies, contractors, and representatives of non-governmental organizations and the general public. Input from the focus groups was valuable to the final website design and content.
Changes from the original site include an increase in the amount of information and the degree of detail. Most notable is the addition of detailed descriptions of various living shoreline options and accompanying photographs of actual projects over time. The site also provides a forum to enable interested parties to post and respond to questions regarding living shorelines.
The website was highlighted in a presentation at the CCRM/ VIMS biannual Wetlands Workshop on November 4th, 2010 attended by 80 people. VIMS also distributed a brochure created and printed with previous VCZMP funding that advertises the concept of living shorelines and points people to the website for additional information. 

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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