Virginia CZM Program: 2014 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:



Virginia Commonwealth University

Project Title:

Coastal Management GIS Support and Coastal GEMS Maintenance 

Project Description as Proposed:

This task supports one full time staff position (Coastal GIS Coordinator) that is contracted through Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Environmental Studies (VCU CES) to provide GIS support to the Virginia CZM program and the partial time of two additional VCU CES staff required to host and maintain the Coastal Geospatial and Educational Mapping System (Coastal GEMS), perform data/software updates, and perform grant/project management.

Coastal Management GIS Support:  The Coastal GIS Coordinator provides support to the Virginia CZM Program to ensure that GIS needs are met; that policy and planning functions have adequate GIS support; that open grants involving GIS products are properly managed and implemented; and that Virginia CZM’s Coastal GEMS remains a valuable tool to Virginia’s coastal community. This staff position will support the following activities:

  •  Work with VCU CES and others to ensure the maintenance and enhancement of Virginia CZM’s Coastal GEMS 
  •  Organize Coastal GEMS training programs for state/local government users and others 
  •  Advise CZM project managers and grantees on grants involving GIS data development, mapping, and NOAA’s data sharing policy 
  •  Perform GIS calculations and searches and produce GIS map products, as needed by the CZM Program and its partners 
  •  Work with CZM Program manager and Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) partners on mapping related ocean planning efforts 
  •  Participate in the Virginia State GIS Users’ Group and keep up-to-date on, or become involved in, other GIS-related developments in Virginia
  • Coastal GEMS Maintenance:  VCU CES will continue to host, maintain, and update the Coastal GEMS web mapping application.  Current Coastal GEMS data layers will be edited or updated as determined by VCU/CZM staff.  New Coastal Gems data layers will be added as they are developed through Virginia CZM Program grants or are contributed from a partnering agency or organization.

    Federal Funding:


    Project Contact:

    Greg Garman, 804.828.1574;

    Project Status:

    10/1/14 - 9/30/15; Project Closed

    Final Product Received:

    Coastal Management GIS Support and Coastal GEMS Maintenance: FY 14 Annual Report (PDF) 

    Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

    VCU CES staff: Performed Coastal Gems maintenance including installing software/security updates and refreshing map services as necessary.  Using symbolized data provided by Coastal GIS Coordinator, updated three in production GEMS layers and added a new map service containing five new layers to the application.  From October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, Coastal GEMS received 1,014 visits from 637 unique visitors resulting in 1,299 pageviews and an average site visit time of 1 minutes and 31 seconds.   Coastal GEMS can be accessed online at:

    The Coastal GIS Coordinator:

    -Assisted with VWEA Collaborative Fisheries Planning Project including: helping  secure necessary sole source contract and reviewing related subcontracts, participating in project team and outreach meetings, creating ArcMap project with offline data and basemaps for pGIS, working with project team members to create questionnaire for fishermen providing spatial data, staffing pGIS sessions, creating project spatial data, and printing large scale map layouts for display at public meetings

    -Created multiple maps at CZM staff request including a map layout for the VA CZM exhibit at the 2014 Birding Festival and multiple map layouts used in presentations and printed materials prepared for 2015 CZM Section 312 Evaluation meetings

    - Obtained tabular population data from UVA Weldon Cooper Center and used to create spatial data optimized for display on GEMS.  Provided VCU CES staff with symbolized ArcGIS map package to create new Coastal Population map service on Coastal GEMS and created GEMS fact sheets for the new population layers

    - Consulted with MARCO on the use of participatory GIS to map tribal uses of the mid-Atlantic ocean and created an attributed point GIS layer of mid-Atlantic Tribal headquarters for vetting with Tribes

    - Worked with ANPDC staff to create maps for their Seaside SAMP report including maps of commercial fishery landing values and commercial fishing use intensity for various gear types on the seaside

    -Worked with VCU CES staff to compile and process data from aerial recreational use survey flights covering the Virginia Beach area and created a series of maps summarizing the data

    - Worked with VMRC Conservation and Replenishment staff  on maps used for oyster harvest enforcement including updating six existing map layouts and producing four new maps by creating spatial data from VMRC regulation text

    - Responded to all data requests in a timely manner, including in this evaluation period, requests from federal and state agencies, planning district commissions, academic institutions, and private contractors

    -Provided spatial data to VIMS and VMRC of two new SAV set-asides approved by the VMRC board in continuation of last year’s efforts to map new eelgrass expansion areas on the seaside of VA’s Eastern Shore

    -Presented Coastal GEMS at 2015 Sea Grant Symposium as part of an ecosystem based management workgroup

    - Worked with CZM Coastal Planner to design methodology to produce working waterfronts spatial database utilizing existing Coastal PDC working waterfront inventory products and Coastal GEMS

    -Helped prepare for the biennial CZM Coastal Partners Workshop including organizing speakers, obtaining, setting up, and running audience participation system, and creating final topic ranking chart

    - Worked with VIMS staff to create a map layout depicting proposed project boundaries of  CZM funded 2015 seaside restoration work for SHPO clearance and for submission to AG office to meet 306a requirements

    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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