Virginia CZM Program: 2012 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA CZM logo

55 

Grantee:

Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission 

Project Title:

Rural Chesapeake Bay/Seaside of Virginia Working Waterfront Coalition Phase 2- Virginia Summit  

Project Description as Proposed:

The Phase 2 Working Waterfront Coalition project proposes to continue support for both the Working Waterfront 309 strategy and the new EDA/NOAA National Working Waterfront Network through projects that help develop the markets and tools needed to ensure sustainability of working waterfronts and related industries. 

For many Virginia rural coastal communities, there is a strong need to maximize the potential of the waterfront as a driver for economic vitality. However, market forces, changing demographics, and increasing tax burdens on waterfront properties are increasingly driving a transition of waterfront properties toward residential or recreational uses. In addition, regulatory changes affecting marine fisheries management are impacting water dependent industries and working waterfronts.  To help combat this national problem, a national coastal partnership was formed named the National Working Waterfront Network.   Staff at Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (VSGMAP) oversee the Working Waterfront web portal to support the effort of coastal communities in creating and maintaining sustainable working waterfronts. The sustainable working waterfront  portal contains national historic and current trend analysis, regional and economic impact and economic forecasts, financing tools comprehensive literature review, identification of  law and policy best practices; case studies and guidance documents; guidance on accessing the Working Waterfront Pro Bono legal Network and other useful information for waterfront  business owners and policy makers.

The Coalition partners (MPPDC, A-N and NN PDC) propose to organize, coordinate and convene a Virginia Working Waterfront Summit to be held at a central location (possibly VIMS) and possible remote location (Wachapreague) to discuss the challenges faced by Coastal Virginian’s engaged in owning, managing or developing policy on issues related to working waterfronts.  Summit invitees will come directly from the data base of working waterfront business developed under the Section 309 Working Waterfront project administered by the Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.  The Summit will consist of three parts: a) Panel of working waterfront specialist will discuss the growing national problem faced by working waterfront business and Virginia challenges, b) Introduction/ use of the Working Waterfront web portal. c) Discussion of Virginia specific issues, problems, and challenges of those in attendance. 

Federal Funding:

$32,883 

Project Contact:

Lewie Lawrence; 804.758.2311, llawrence@mppdc.com

Project Status:

1/1/2013 - 9/30/2013; Project Completed 

Final Product Received:

Rural Chesapeake Bay/Seaside of Virginia Working Waterfront Coalition Phase 2 - Virginia Summit Final Report (PDF) 

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

The Phase 2 Working Waterfront Coalition project, stemming from issues raised in the 2008 York River Use Conflict (NOAA Contract Number NA07NOS4190178 TASK 44), supports projects in both the Working Waterfront 309 strategy and the new EDA/NOAA National Working Waterfront Network through projects that help develop the markets and tools needed to ensure sustainability of working waterfronts and related industries.

To support the working waterfront initiative, the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC); the Northern Neck Planning District Commission (NNPDC); and the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission (ANPDC) developed the partnership: The Coastal Virginia Working Waterfront Coalition (CVWWC).  The CVWWC, in conjunction with the National Sea Grant Law Center,  the watermen community, marine trades groups, Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Services, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC), the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, and the Institute for Environmental Negotiation (UVA), organized, coordinated, and convened a Virginia Working Waterfront Summit on February 26, 2014, at the lecture hall on the campus of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point, Virginia, and, remotely, at the Eastern Shore Community College in Melfa, Virginia.  The goal was to discuss the challenges faced by Coastal Virginian’s engaged in owning and/or managing working waterfront dependent businesses, and managing or developing policy on issues related to working waterfronts. 

At the Summit on February 26, 2014, over 150 watermen, business owners, local staff and elected officials, and others seeking information on the preservation and revitalization of the decaying working waterfronts in Virginia participated in the workshop.  Guest speakers from private and public groups covered topics related to working waterfronts such as: tools and case studies, laws, economics, zoning, legacy planning, and emerging markets.

A final report from the summit recommended holding another summit in 2 years and generated the following themes: 
• Working waterfront business owners and local governments need to collaborate
• Comprehensive Plans are advisory tools
• Real estate taxation policy can stifle or enhance working waterfronts
• Planning and zoning may be extremely constructive tools
• Clear distinctions should be made between water-dependent enterprises
• Legal and policy tools must be in place that anticipate emerging business models
• Man-made infrastructure beyond the shoreline must be considered
• The working waterfront culture must be recognized as an important asset
• The working waterfront community must coalesce around a shared vision
• Succession planning is essential for individual or privately owned water-dependent enterprises
• All sectors of the working waterfront community should be represented

The report will be used to advance the current Section 309 Working Waterfront project which will ultimately necessitate the development of enforceable policies.  The Report is posted on the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission webpage: www.mppdc.com

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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