Virginia CZM Program: 2013 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA CZM logo



Back Bay Restoration Foundation

Project Title:

Virginia Beach Watersheds Forum

Project Description as Proposed:

In 2014, BBRF will host the 2014 Virginia Beach Watersheds Forum.  Partnering with Lynnhaven River NOW, another Virginia Beach watershed-based non-profit organization, the organizations will educate attendees on current issues that affect all eight sub-watersheds in Virginia Beach.  Presenters from local, state, and federal agencies, non-profit and private enterprises with subject-area expertise will be invited to present on the subject of their latest environmental initiatives.   

The Project Manager will work with Lynnhaven River NOW staff and Forum committee volunteers to set the 2014 agenda, invite speakers, handle event logistics and reports, coordinate volunteer assistance, and moderate the Forum.  Additionally, relevant local organizations will be invited to have table displays for additional outreach to attendees.  A one-hour lunch break will permit attendees to visit a variety of environmental education displays throughout the meeting room and in the lobby. 

Past Forums focused on historical research and studies conducted throughout the Back Bay watershed.  Starting with the 2006 Back Bay Forum, the focus shifted to “Best Management Practices for the Back Bay Watershed” in an important environmental initiative to educate individuals about their role in restoring water quality.  In 2013, BBRF shifted to include all eight sub-watersheds in Virginia Beach to expand our reach and diversify the audience in attendance.  The 2014 Forum will have presentations and panels that address the region as a whole, but also have break-out sessions that are more watershed-specific; in this case separating the Chesapeake Bay watersheds (northern watersheds) from the Albemarle-Pamlico watersheds (southern watersheds).

Each attendee will be asked to complete a survey at the end of the Forum.  These surveys will be analyzed and used to plan future Forums.

The BBRF website,, contains a link for the VB Watershed Forum as well as archived presentations from past forums.  All Forum presentations are available on CD, upon request.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Shannon Davis, 757.619.6429; 

Project Status:

10/1/2013 - 9/30/2014; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

Back Bay Restoration Foundation Virginia Beach Watersheds Forum FY2013 Final Report (PDF)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

With funding and support from the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program and NOAA, Back Bay Restoration Foundation (BBRF) and Lynnhaven River NOW (LRNow) co-hosted the 2014 Virginia Beach Watersheds Forum on March 13, 2014 for 114 attendees comprised of BBRF members, LRNow members, Master Naturalists, students, home/land owners, Virginia Beach City officials and staff, and representatives from state and federal agencies.  The Forum agenda began with a panel presentation “How Our Schools are Teaching Sustainability” with Tim Cole (Virginia Beach City Public Schools Sustainability Officer), Melani Loney (Middle School Science Coordinator), Deedra Dills (Parent and PTA Member), and Brent Horner (Landstown High School Teacher).  The Forum agenda then had two break-out sessions, each included information to benefit Virginia Beach Watersheds as a whole, as well as watershed specific information.  The first break-out session talks included: “Back Bay Fisheries Update” (Chad Boyce, VDGIF), “Compost Blankets for Erosion and Run-Off Control” (Chip Hall, N.O.P.E. VA), and “Virginia Beach Wildlife and Fishing Line Recycling Program” (Barbara Gipson, VBSPCA).  The second break-out sessions talks included: “What Happens to Our Trash and Recycling?” (Linda Minner, V.B. Waste Management), “Diamondback Terrapin Research: Learn More About this Fascinating and Beautiful Terrapin that Lives in Our Wetlands” (Diane Tulipani, VIMS), and “How Can You Help Green Your Faith Community?” (Karen Forget and Pam Northam, LRNow, Penny Moulis, Eastern Shore Chapel, and Rev. James Christian, Bayside Christian Church).  The VB Watersheds Forum concluded with a panel titled “Sea Level Rise: What Do You Think We Should Be Doing?” with Whitney McNamara (City of VB, Environment and Sustainability Office), Skip Stiles (Wetlands Watch), Mark Swingle (Homeowner and Marine Biologist), Laura Habr (Small Business Owner, Resort Area Advisory Commission), and Steve Lawson (Tidewater Builders Association).


Pertinent displays featuring area conservation/environmental non-profits including Master Naturalists, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Sierra Club, and others were available to attendees throughout the day.  Forum agendas and forms acknowledged VA CZMP support.  Presentations from presenters will be available on the BBRF website (  CDs containing PowerPoint presentations of all presentations were provided upon request.  BBRF and LRNow staff and volunteers used the feedback form, discussion results and other thoughtful feedback to identify issues and format suggestions that will be used to improve future Forums. Final deliverables are completed including copies of the Forum agenda, program, a completed action plan to assist with BBRF’s mission, and analysis of Forum Feedback Forms.

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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