Virginia CZM Program 2010 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:

12.07

Grantee:

Northern Virginia Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Sustainable Shoreline Community Management in Northern Virginia

Project Description as Proposed:

NVRC proposes funding for the third year of the Sustainable Shorelines Community Management in Northern Virginia project. In concert with the Northern Virginia Hazard Mitigation Planning process and the existing workgroup, strategies will be developed for the Northern Virginia region to proactively prepare for impacts from inundation due to projected sea level rise and storm surge flooding.  As will be identified by workgroup and vetted through the appropriate channels, these strategies may include amendments to existing policies and codes, and/or identify and pursue new policies as they relate to sustainable shoreline management and coastal community planning.  Additionally, to communicate the results of the project to the public and other interested parties  This information will support awareness and preparedness across Northern Virginia’s coastal communities. Through thoughtful and collaborative data collection, policy review, and product development the Sustainable Shoreline Community Management in Northern Virginia project will assist planners, decision makers, and individual residents living along the shoreline adapt to the changing climate in a manner that limits human health risk and sustains natural coastal resources.

Federal Funding:

$60,510

Project Contact:

Corey Miles; 703.642.4625; cmiles@novaregion.org

Project Status:

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

Final Product Received:

Sustainable Shorelines Community Management in Northern Virginia Phase III Final Report (pdf) 

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

The Sustainable Shorelines and Community Management Project was a collaborative planning effort between the localities, major landholders, and universities in Northern Virginia that border the tidal Potomac River.  In the 3rd phase, the project continued to build upon the regional and international planning efforts for relative sea level rise and storm surge.  Phase III looked closely at the relationships in regional and international planning, and focused on communication into the future.  The Report, “Sustainable Shorelines and Community Management in Northern Virginia Phase III” will be available on line at NVRC’s website: www.novaregion.org .The project addressed the coastal hazards and sea level rise preparation in a collaborative manner and sought to regionalize planning efforts for sea level rise in northern Virginia through Workgroup Outcomes, Adaptation Strategies, and Communications.  In concert with the NEMO and the existing workgroup, strategies were developed for the region to proactively prepare for impacts from inundation due to projected sea level rise and storm surge flooding.   Discussions shifted toward the barriers and challenges the region faces in planning creatively for climate change and sea level rise.  Proposed tools for dealing with the identified problems came from national and international efforts already underway. The “Looking Back to Look Forward” workshop focused on the challenges to communicating and planning for the effects of climate-related storm events with the broader public and with local policymakers in Northern Virginia.  The workgroup identified possible tools for dealing with the problems including strengthening regulations for future development and retrofits in the floodplain, including the implementation of higher standards in floodplain ordinances. The “8th Mid-Atlantic APA Regional Planning Roundtable” included a panel on the Challenges of Water Management and Coastal Mitigation.  NVRC brought in experts from the Netherlands. Managing water supplies and stormwater influence land use matters at the local and regional level, yet are often afterthoughts in planning processes, which in turn results in conflicts when water issues must be addressed.  The workshop addressed how these issues can be more effectively introduced and integrated in local and regional planning processes.  NVRC and the Dutch Embassy organized a conference “Climate Adaptation Planning: Local Level Strategies for US Communities” to discuss the exchange and application of mutually beneficial and innovative climate adaptation policies.  The participants reviewed national and sub-national climate adaptation approaches from the Netherlands.  Case studies were also outlined concerning US cities (New Orleans and San Francisco) in which Dutch climate adaptation policies were evaluated and adopted, leading to resiliency and economic development in those regions of the US.  This Phase III report completed an adaptation report and included an inventory of existing adaptation strategies and lessons-learned from pioneering areas within the United States and abroad. The best practices from the Dutch workshop provided an inventory and comparison of policies and planning documents that can be adopted by Northern Virginia’s localities in relation to tidal shoreline and floodplain management, Chesapeake Bay Preservation, climate change planning, and other comparable efforts.  By combining local planning efforts with lessons-learned from across the world, this report will continue to assist Northern Virginia localities in establishing the necessary first steps in identifying adaptive measures for increasing the resiliency of their coastal communities and protecting their valuable cultural and natural heritage.  NVRC worked with the Virginia/Chesapeake NEMO programs, other regional PDC’s and workgroup members to develop a broader sense of communication, which included presentations and other materials for distribution to the public by NVRC and its partners.  NVRC will continue with the Chesapeake Watershed Network to improve communication and information sharing.  Strategies to proactively prepare for inundation impacts are key to the dialogue and successful implementation of creating resiliency within the region. Engaging the public is essential to solving the region’s challenges.   Communication strategies are the tools to confirm ideas and solutions to continue to move the discussion forward.  These strategies provide public forums to inform Northern Virginia residents, organizations and stakeholders regarding the challenges the region faces and what the region can do proactively to plan and mitigate climate change effects.  Through thoughtful and collaborative data collection, policy review, and product development, the Sustainable Shoreline Community Management in Northern Virginia Phase III project is in place assist planners, decision makers, and individual residents living along the shoreline adapt to the changing climate in a manner that limits human health risk and sustains natural coastal resources. 

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


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