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

Project Task:VA CZM logo



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Project Title:

Developing a Working Waterfronts Plan for Virginia’s Coastal Zone  

Project Description as Proposed:

Coastal areas are experiencing dramatically increased demand for residential development.  This demand often results in the need for services and resources that are not compatible with the nature and character of the community that attracted the development in the first place. As a result, historic industries that support the functionality of many waterfront communities become disadvantaged by impacts of new development. Localities with working waterfronts often lack sufficient information and/or organizational capacity to effectively respond to the changes presented by increased growth and development.

The proposed project will continue efforts to establish a coastal zone-wide Working Waterfronts plan for Virginia that will serve to guide communities in protecting, restoring and enhancing their water-dependent commercial and recreational activities. The strategy to develop this program change is designed to help communities with existing water-dependent commercial infrastructure understand the long-term costs associated with the loss of working waterfronts, develop new policy tools to help them manage the increasing growth pressures, and build capacity to develop working waterfronts as a thriving component of local economic development.

Four coastal Planning District Commissions (PDCs) with significant working waterfront infrastructure will continue to be involved in implementing this project:  Accomack-Northampton PDC, Hampton Roads PDC, Middle Peninsula PDC and Northern Neck PDC. 

Project management and coordination from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science/Virginia Sea Grant Marine Extension Program allows for expertise in comparative economic analyses to identify the long-term economic impacts of incoming development versus the maintenance and enhancement of existing water dependent commercial activities.  This proposal will continue laying the foundation for development of a working waterfront plan for Virginia’s Coastal Zone, to guide communities in decision making and policy development to retain the water-driven elements of their economic structure and cultural heritage. 

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Thomas J. Murray; 804.684.7190, 

Project Status:

10/1/2012 - 9/30/2013; Project Completed 

Final Product Received:

Developing a Working Waterfronts Plan for Virginia's Coastal Zone Eastern Shore Inventory (PDF) 
Developing a Working Waterfronts Plan for Virginia's Coastal Zone Hampton Roads Inventory (PDF)
Developing a Working Waterfronts Plan for Virginia's Coastal Zone Middle Peninsula Inventory (PDF)
Developing a Working Waterfronts Plan for Virginia's Coastal Zone Northern Neck Inventory (PDF)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

The project finalized an inventory of just under 400 working waterfront facilities encompassing 4 multi-county coastal planning districts regions.

Primary data collected during year 1 was expanded to achieve a consistent reporting between regions in view of the differing definitions of WWF adopted locally among the multi-county regions.

The evaluation of the inventories and discussions with local staff helped to determine particular sites selected for more detailed evaluation. One site was selected in Hampton, Virginia as a pilot for an in depth economic assessment.   Agreement for provision of necessary income and expense information was reached, and that data collection was completed during the last quarter of the project. IMPLAN economic impact modeling was completed using two baselines-one actual ledgers from the facility and another with the IMPLAN default technical coefficients for the industry NAICS code.    A quantitative assessment report on the economic importance of the facility is being finalized in the initial part of the year 3 WWF award.  Additionally, a commercial marina and aquaculture cluster will be evaluated in the same manner during year 3, and additional community outreach will be conducted.      

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:

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to

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

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