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

Project Task:VA CZM logo

Grantee:

VA Department of Conservation & Recreation

Project Title:

Healthy Waters Initiative and VNEMO Program in Coastal Zone 

Project Description as Proposed:

Funding through this grant will be used to support the implementation of the Virginia Healthy Waters Initiative (HWI) and the Virginia Network for Education of Municipal Officials Program (VNEMO) as it applies to advancing the coastal management and interpretation and delivery of tools and products of the Natural Heritage Division at the VDCR such as the Virginia Ecological Values Assessment (VEVA) in the Coastal Zone of Virginia. In addition, this grant will provide direct support to the Planning District Commissions (PDCs) and localities requesting assistance through VCZM Technical Assistance grants, PDC competitive 306  funds and section 309 environmental enhancement strategies. Assistance in the areas of blue/green infrastructure planning, planning for adaptation to climate change,  water quality and natural resource based planning, and working waterfronts is anticipated. Additional support may be provided for assisting with the implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order and the TMDL Phase 2 Watershed Implementation Plan with respect to addressing Section 306 projects or 309 water quality strategies. 

An Environmental Analyst will be retained through a contractual arrangement with the Center for Environmental Studies (CES) located at Virginia Commonwealth University.  The individual will continue to work directly with DCR staff and have access to the facilities and expertise of CES as well. The position also serves as a liaison between DCR and the Center for Environmental Studies at VCU to promote joint, applied research and outreach projects. This includes the oversight of programs, projects, grants and grant budgets, providing technical support to VDCR Division of Soil and Water and the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, as it relates to coastal zone ecology, management, and restoration. Through the VCU, the HWI and VNEMO Programs will have access to the GIS Section of the Life Sciences Department for CommunityViz technical assistance for local projects.

This position will also continue to participate in state, local, or federal working groups as needed with regard to coastal nonpoint source pollution issues and as the VDCR deems necessary.  During this grant period, VCU and VDCR will seek additional funding to support the continued expansion of the VNEMO Program to meet the demand in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, the Program Manager will prepare semiannual and annual reports and other technical documents. 

Federal Funding:

$27,000 

Project Contact:

Todd Janeski; 804.371.8984, todd.janeski@dcr.virginia.gov  

Project Status:

10/1/2012 - 6/30/2014; Project Completed 

Final Product Received:

Healthy Waters Program and the VNEMO in the Coastal Zone Final Report (PDF)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

The Environmental Analyst, at the Virginia Commonwealth University, continued to serve as the Program Manager at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Due to the lack of dedicated NOAA Section 310 funding to support the 56 Management Measures as outlined in the 6217 Guidance, the focus of the Coastal NPS Program is the management and implementation of the Virginia Healthy Waters Program (HWP) and the administration and implementation of the Virginia Network for Education of Municipal Officials Program (VNEMO).  The VCU Environmental Analyst/ Program Manager directs both the HWP and the VNEMO Program, focusing support to the regional planning district commissions and through regional educational and training events. During the reporting period, the Program Manager also directed the research development and outreach opportunities for innovative stormwater management technologies at the Science Museum of Virginia.

During the reporting period, the Healthy Waters Program was formally moved from the Virginia DCR Division of Stormwater to the VDCR Division of Natural Heritage as the Program is currently focused on the development of data, identification of valuable natural areas and protection of those resources. The program functions in form as a land conservation effort. The Program Manager participated in the Chesapeake Bay Program Goal Implementation Team 4 Healthy Watersheds (GIT4) as the sole Virginia representative and HW Program Manager. During the reporting period, the Program Manager coordinated with the US EPA Healthy Watersheds Program manager to obtain services to assist in the development of a strategic plan. However, due to the re-organization the effort was tabled until further notice. Effort reallocation was requested by the Manager for the USEPA contractor to assist with the acquisition of biotic data to inform the development of a statewide modified Index of Biotic Integrity. Unfortunately, the USEPA reallocated the assistance to other efforts, as stated in the previous situation. The role of Coastal NPS Program Manager was also moved from the VA DCR to the VA DEQ, to be overseen by a coastal planner with the VA CZM.

The Program Manager continued the management of the +$2M, NFWF funded, project at the Virginia Science Museum. The Manager shares the Project Management role with the Director of Science at the Museum to facilitate full coverage of all aspects of project implementation. During the reporting period, the Program Manager directed the research aspects of the project, refining the treatment structures, modifying for enhanced performance and coordinating with outside interests for expanded monitoring research. The project was awarded a Virginia Green Award in October, 2012. The last of the installations were completed during this reporting period which included the installation of the vegetated roof on the IMAX theater of the SMV.

Additionally, funding through this grant was reprogrammed to support the development of the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program at the VCU Rice Rivers Center. The Program Manager, through the Rice Rivers Center, piloted a near-zero budget project in the Richmond region as a proof-of-concept to collect business-generated shell and return it to the Virginia portion of the Bay. In four months, nearly six tons of shell were collected from four Richmond restaurants, and partnerships were developed with Virginia Green, Virginia Coastal Zone Management, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, City of Richmond, Tidewater Fiber Corporation and the Virginia Master Naturalists. 

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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