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Virginia CZM Program 2010 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:



George Washington Regional Commission

Project Title:

Developing a Blue-Green Infrastructure Plan for the GW Region

Project Description as Proposed:

GWRC proposes to continue and complete the development of a blue-green infrastructure plan for the GW region, a project initiated in 2008 for the period FY 2008- 2010. In FY 2010, the GWRC will integrate research findings from work conducted in FY 2008 and 2009 to develop the final regional green infrastructure plan for adoption by the GWRC Board. A series of public outreach meetings will be held (with one in each of the five member localities, possibly in conjunction with a presentation to each of the local Planning Commissions) to inform the public on trends of urbanization and loss of green infrastructure and solicit community feedback on the recommendations of the regional green infrastructure plan to identify and conserve important green infrastructure through a program to explain conservation easement, transfer and purchase of development right programs and any other land conservation options and/or coordinate local development requirements to implement more low impact development principles through the use of cluster development principles and the related practice of open space zoning.  GWRC staff anticipates integrating the public outreach program for the regional green infrastructure plan with the regional scenario planning process being implemented by the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization which seeks to guide and encourage local governments to implement “smart growth” principles in channeling future urban growth into a more compact area to make investments in public infrastructure more sustainable. GWRC staff will work with FAMPO scenario planning consultants to incorporate the recommendations of the regional green infrastructure plan into the regional and local scenario plans and Community Viz visualization models of future development and conservation scenarios. Periodic presentations on the Green Infrastructure Plan will be given to GWRC’s Green Government Commission, composed of local elected officials of the member jurisdictions, local environmental and business community leaders. Ultimately the Green Infrastructure Plan will be presented to the GWRC Board for consideration as regional policy document and recommended framework for local environmental planning and conservation efforts. GWRC staff will continue coordination with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Natural Heritage, the Virginia Networked Education for Municipal Officials Program (VNEMO), the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, and other coastal partner state agencies to identify potential areas in all local jurisdictions that have high habitat, ecological, recreational, historic or water quality values. To the extent practical, continued collaboration with adjoining PDCs will help ensure consistency of methodology and consideration of the kinds of protection strategies which can be implemented by coastal localities in adjoining regions. 

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Kevin Byrnes, 540.373.2890;

Project Status:

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

Final Product Received:

Developing a Blue-Green Infrastructure Plan for the GW Region Final Report (pdf) 

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

The GWRC completed the development of a regional Green Infrastructure Plan in FY 2010, building on land cover and other regional inventory analysis, computer modeling and community outreach efforts over the past three years.  The Green Infrastructure Plan provides analytical tools and strategies to support local governments’ involvement in and response to Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan-Phase 2 program. Moreover, the Plan offers a regional framework to promote and guide local land conservation efforts to conserve and protect areas of highest regional and local ecological value. This Plan is advisory in nature and respects local governments’ autonomy, while identifying regional assets within each community that, with cooperation among local governments, could be preserved or enhanced to maintain the Region’s high quality of life and natural areas and open space valued by the region’s citizenry.

The Green Infrastructure Plan is based on a collection of studies and analytical tools developed in FY 2008 and FY 2009 to support regional and local environmental and land conservation planning; including:

A.  Custom regional VCLNA Data Set (GWRC Eco-Cores & Corridors)

B.  Urban Ecosystem Analysis

C.  Estimating Impervious Surface Area

D.  Regional and Local Greenway Planning

E.  Regional Scenario Planning Models (including local “greenprint” scenario & working farms layer)

F.  Review of Virginia Growth Management and Planning Tools

The Plan proposes a five percent reforestation goal for the region which would roughly equate to the loss of tree canopy from land development over the period from the early 1990’s through 2009.  Moreover, the Plan calls for the Region to add 14,300 acres of additional land under conservation easement as the Region’s share of Governor McDonnell’s 400,000 acre statewide conservation easement goal. The Plan is available for download on GWRC’s website (see link below).

Website Link:

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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