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Virginia CZM Program 2010 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:



Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation 

Project Title:

Sustainable Communities: Final PCA Map & Outreach Efforts 

Project Description as Proposed:

This project will focus on three main components:

  • Incorporation of the recent results from VIMS’ marine/estuarine Aquatic Priority Conservation Areas (APCA) data layers into a revised PCA to include more estuarine features.   The VIMS’ contribution to the revised PCA will consist of 9 unique GIS data layers not included in the PCA map developed by DCR, DGIF and VCU under FY 2008 Task 11.02. This task will be accomplished predominantly via a subcontract to VCU.
  • Adaptation of the new PCA dataset for use in a land acquisition prioritization map tool.  This adaptation could include removing permanently conserved land, updating land use (specifically, pertaining to developed areas), and discussing and making recommendations on adjacent resources. This will be accomplished jointly by subcontracts to DGIF, VCU and VIMS.
  • Development and implementation of outreach materials and activities aimed at educating local planners and Boards of Supervisors on the updated PCA:   What the data represent, why specific elements are important and how the information can be used to guide local land use decisions and land conservation. This will be done in conjunction with NEMO wherever feasible and will involve subcontracts to DGIF, VCU and VIMS.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Jason Bulluck, 804.786.8377;

Project Status:

10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011; Project Completed 

Final Product Received:

The Coastal Virginia Ecological Value Assessment: a collaborative integration of conservation datasets and priorities in Virginia (pdf) 

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

A new Coastal Virginia Ecological Value Assessment (VEVA) was conducted by integrating the existing Priority Conservation Areas (PCA) (NOAA Grant # NA 08NOS4190466; FY08; Task#11.02) with component datasets from the “Estuarine Blue Infrastructure: Final Priority Conservation Areas for Chesapeake Bay and its Tidal Tributaries and Back Bay,” developed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (NOAA Grant # NA08NOS4190466; FY 2008; Task 11.03).  This integration involved adding nine of the estuarine- and coastal bay-specific data layers from the VIMS product to the suite of original terrestrial and freshwater resource layers in the original PCA. These attributes were reclassified for integration with the 5-ranked classification used in the original PCA. In addition, “Healthy Waters” watersheds were integrated into the new PCA by VCU. The final products – a Coastal VEVA GIS layer (Task 1 deliverable) and a map specifically developed for CELCP land conservation prioritization (Task 2 deliverable) - were reviewed by the project team for accuracy and quality control.  These deliverables have been provided to the Virginia CZMP for integration with ongoing conservation planning efforts.  (View VEVA at: LandScope America or Coastal GEMS). A summary of methods was also included in a final report, “The Coastal Virginia Ecological Value Assessment: a collaborative integration of conservation datasets and priorities in Virginia” (Task 1 deliverable). 

This final report also summarizes Outreach materials, presentations and efforts to support the use of Coastal VEVA (Task 3).  Outreach began with deployment of an online Locality Survey of Future Conservation Planning Needs, to guide the delivery of and support for use of VEVA products, as well as future CZMP conservation planning tools. Responses from 50 planners, local officials, and PDC contacts were collected and analyzed to identify how the VEVA could be an effective tool for each locality in the Coastal Zone. A Coastal VEVA Handout was developed for the March 15, 2011 Middle James Roundtable Annual Meeting, as well as for subsequent general distribution. Short presentations developed by DCR were delivered at the Coastal Zone Planning District Commission meeting on March 28, 2011 and the Environment Virginia conference on April 6, 2011. A presentation entitled “The Coastal Virginia Ecological Value Assessment” was given at the Annual Virginia GIS Conference on September 19, 2011. The CZMP and DCR then shifted the outreach approach; rather than providing short overviews of the Coastal VEVA to all CZ locality planning staff, a more targeted workshop and support approach was taken, in order to better assure implementation of the VEVA in local and regional planning efforts.  DCR presented VEVA to staff from the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Office as a tool for route planning and land conservation for trails projects in the Coastal Zone. DCR staff also participated in a NERRS workshop, “Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience” where the VEVA was presented to coastal zone planners and local government staff.  Staff at DCR-Natural Heritage worked with staff at the NPS Chesapeake Bay office and NatureServe to establish the Coastal VEVA as an assessment of Conservation Priorities on LandScope Chesapeake. A day-long workshop, serving as a more technical follow-up to the February, 2012 workshop, was hosted by the NERRS, to share the VEVA with planners from localities and planning districts throughout the CZ, as well as with conservation non-profit, consultant and university staff. This workshop featured morning presentations on the VEVA data input components, given by DCR, VCU, VIMS, DGIF and CZMP.  These presentations were followed by Q&A and a discussion panel session between the audience and all VEVA project partners.  Lastly, to support the presence and use of the VEVA on LandScope Chesapeake, a 90-minute hands-on workshop was led by DCR staff at the 7th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum, in Shepherdstown, WV, on September 29th 2012. 

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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