Virginia CZM Program: 2011 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA CZM logo

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Grantee:

Northern Virginia Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Coastal Technical Assistance Program

Project Description as Proposed:

NVRC will continue to provide technical assistance on coastal resource issues among state, local, federal, and regional parties involved in coastal resource management in Northern Virginia.  Coordination & TrainingTo disseminate information and provide a networking forum, NVRC will host bi-monthly meetings or trainings for local government planners on coastal and environmental issues. Agenda topics will be solicited before and after meetings and speakers will be invited as appropriate. These efforts will particularly focus on Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan requirements for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. However, these meetings may serve as vehicles to advance additional state’s interests in coastal resource management and coordination.  Special ProjectNVRC will continue to manage the Northern Virginia Clean Water Partners – Regional Stormwater Education Campaign. The 2009 and 2010 pilot studies proved that online advertising is a cost-effective means of reaching the targeted audience for social marketing efforts. The Partners will continue to advertise online and will take advantage of additional Web 2.0 techniques to drive more visitations to the campaign’s website. Surveys will be conducted through online polls to better understand the level of awareness of Northern Virginians on pollution-causing behaviors and to what degree the campaign messages encourage them to take action and change their behaviors. These results will continue to inform the messages placed in creative products including the campaign websites - onlyrain.org and northern-virginia-dog-blog.com.  In addition, NVRC will solicit participation from new partners, prepare a 2012 campaign plan, coordinate and host partner meetings, manage supporting contracts, and continue to strive for a seamless transition between fiscal years. EIS/EA/EIR and Permit ReviewsNVRC will continue to participate in the intergovernmental review process and seek opportunities to improve the coordination at the local level.

Funding:

$30,000

Project Contact:

Laura Grape, (703) 642-4625; lgrape@novaregion.org

Project Status:

10/1/2011 - 9/30/2012; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

NVRC Technical Assistance Program Annual Report (pdf) 

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

NVRC’s Coastal Resources Technical Assistance Program focused its efforts on secondary and cumulative impacts to the Coastal Zone by hosting four workshops, conducting a multi-media social marketing campaign, participating on regional roundtables and reviewing and responding to Environmental Impact Statements and Environmental Assessments.

NVRC engaged over 130 public and private planners, engineers, conservation professionals, formal and informal educators, and homeowners through the following training and coordination events:

· Residential Rain Gardens (October 1, 2011 and March 30, 2012)

· Virginia Outdoor Plan Coordination (January 25, 2012)

· Incentive-Based Sustainability Programs (April 16, 2012)

These workshops focused on increasing native habitats through simple restoration efforts and reducing secondary and cumulative impacts to the Coastal Zone.  Participants in the Residential Rain Garden seminars for homeowners have committed to building gardens in their schoolyards and properties to reduce the effects of stormwater pollution and improve habitat (www.novaregion.org/raingardens).  Northern Virginia residents and local park personnel identified outdoor recreation projects and conservation needs within Northern Virginia, for consideration during the development of the Virginia Outdoor Plan.  Through the Incentive-Based Sustainability Programs local government representatives discussed the best practices and lessons-learned from existing programs that engage residents and businesses by providing inexpensive incentives to implement stormwater management solutions on their property.  Several localities are discussing efforts to replicate these programs within their jurisdictions (www.novaregion.org/index.aspx?NID=409).

The Northern Virginia Clean Water Partners – Regional Stormwater Education Campaign continues to show signs of being effective at changing behaviors as the summer 2012 survey revealed that one-fourth of the respondents recalled hearing or seeing advertisements on the internet or on the radio, as compared with one-third in 2011. Of those respondents who recalled the ads, six percent state they now pick up their pet waste more often, 15 percent state that they are more careful with fertilizer, and seven percent fertilize fewer times per year.

Online and radio ads reached approximately 54,563 Northern Virginia residents and resulted in over 200 visits to the www.onlyrain.org website.  Additionally, campaign ads appeared on Google, Facebook, and YouTube advertisements over 8 million times, resulting in over 60,000 visits to the campaign web sites – www.onlyrain.org; www.metro-dc-dog-blog.com; and www.gardening.mwcog.org.  A summary report for the campaign was prepared and distributed to the Partners for inclusion in their annual MS4 reports. The report is available online at:  http://www.novaregion.org/index.aspx?nid=408

Over the fiscal year, NVRC responded to 22 EA/EIS requests as part of the intergovernmental review process.  As part of EIR review processes, NVRC staff met with related staff from the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) who are responsible for reviewing EIRs for federal facilities.  The meeting resulted in NCPC’s agreement to utilize information gained through the Conservation Corridors Planning in Northern Virginia project, funded by the Virginia CZM program, to identify regionally-significant natural resources that federal facility expansions and/or developments should avoid.

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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