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

Project Task:VA CZM logo

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Grantee:

Virginia Institute of Marine Science-Center for Coastal Resource Management

Project Title:

Tidal Wetlands Management Technical Support

Project Description as Proposed:

The project provides operational support for tidal wetlands management technical support provided by Virginia Institute of Marine Science Wetlands Program staff. The project will specifically support: expanded outreach education offerings to include two workshops and up to four special regional training sessions, and production of materials for those offerings; technical advisories and impact assessment for selected complex projects; partial support for publication of technical reports and newsletters prepared by Wetlands Program; and maintenance of the permit data base web sites.

Federal Funding:

$42,000

Project Contact:

Dawn Fleming - 804.684.7380; dawnf@vims.edu

Project Status:

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

Final Product Received:

VIMS-CCRM Tidal Wetlands Management Technical Support (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee: 

This project provided operational support for tidal wetlands management technical support provided by the Center for Coastal Resources Management Wetlands Program staff. Wetlands Program personnel provided routine advisories and impact assessment preparation; maintenance of a permit database and website; and produced newsletters and the supporting materials for outreach education offerings. Technical advisory activities encompassed everything from verbal communications to written environmental assessments. VIMS alone serves the permit data online which is routinely accessed by applicants and other government agencies through a searchable database. The permit data can include the original joint permit application; VIMS permit review reports, incomplete forms and impact estimates table; and related additional information, public notices and photos. In a cooperative effort, Wetlands Program staff attended wetlands board meetings where VMRC presented information on the legislative requirement for a living shoreline general permit. VIMS attended 10 of these meetings between October 2011 and January 2012, to listen to issues and concerns, and to answer technical questions. As part of its advisory role, the Center maintains an online tutorial to help applicants correctly fill out the joint permit application, and decision trees for currently defended and undefended shorelines. The decision trees (the first two in a series) lead users through several questions about shoreline characteristics and results in a recommendation of the environmentally preferable treatment(s) for that shoreline. Center staff were responsible for organizing, hosting, and presenting a Tidal Wetlands Workshop held at VIMS on May 24th, 2012. This “Planning for the Future” workshop informed 125 people on sea level rise state of the science; living shorelines research and general permit; and how to use CCRM’s decision trees. CCRM also presented locally held trainings for government staff on “Tools for Coastal Resource Management” including how to use the decision trees; Integrated Shoreline Management; and an introduction to the Center’s newly developed Comprehensive Coastal Resource Management Plans (CCRMP’s). Wetlands Program staff began developing the framework and content for eleven online education modules. Additional effort was put towards evaluating software needed to convert our content into electronic learning courses that include testing and feedback. These automated Shoreline Best Management Practices modules are intended to make training more accessible for local government staff. Center staff produces two biannual newsletters – the Virginia Wetlands Report and Rivers & Coast. The Virginia Wetlands Report informs readers of near-shore environmental science and related issues to influence better tidal shoreline decisions, and serves to announce upcoming workshops and educational opportunities. The Rivers & Coast newsletter covers one relevant topic in more detail through use of charts, graphs, maps and photos in an 8-page color publication. Both newsletters are mailed to all local wetlands board members and their staff. Additionally, they are available online and announced through CCRM’s e-newsletter to approximately 1450 email addresses which include local and state agency personnel, General Assembly members, and interested private citizens. CCRM e-News provides the reader with reminders, and quick links, by summarizing a variety of issues that support integrated management of coastal zone resources, and by pointing the reader to more detailed information on our website.

To view any of the previously mentioned items, please see CCRM’s website (http://ccrm.vims.edu//).

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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