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

Project Task:



Northern Neck Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Northern Neck PDC Technical Assistance Program

Project Description as Proposed:

The NNPDC FY14 environmental work program will consist of six work tasks:

1) NNPDC staff will provide coastal management support to local governments, planning commissions, local planning staff, as well as the Northern Neck Land Conservancy. NNPDC staff will provide GIS analysis of land development proposals, land conversion and land use plans as well as maps of wetlands, aerial photographs and topographic features.

2) NNPDC staff will support local planning, staff education, training and coordination through quarterly Coastal Managers (Land Use Administrators) Meetings and four local government training sessions. Four training sessions for local county staff will be targeted to assist localities in better managing coastal resources and improving water quality.

3) NNPDC will assist Northumberland County with consolidation of the county's zoning maps into a single GIS layer. Currently Northumberland County has the zoning map built into their digital tax map layer. The county would like a standalone digital zoning map that only contains polygons of zoning classifications, which would be used to overlay over tax parcels to determine zoning classifications for specific properties. The digital zoning map layer would not be creating new data, only packaging existing zoning data into a different form for ease of use.

4) NNPDC staff will create two water trails for Northumberland County that will complement the previous water trail maps for canoeing and kayaking created by the NNPDC under previous years' VACZM grants for Lancaster, Richmond and Westmoreland Counties. In addition, NNPDC staff will create a Northumberland County wide water trail map that shows long distance Northern Neck Potomac River Water Trail that will connect to the Westmoreland County section of the (upper part of the) Potomac Water Trail. All three Northumberland County water trail maps will be in PDF format and will be housed on the Northern Neck Tourism Commission's website and will be available for download, along with the other ten (10) Northern Neck water trails maps created through prior VACZM grants.

5) The Northern Neck Water Trail maps have been online at the Northern Neck Tourism website for almost a year, but there has been no concerted effort to market the trails to the public. NNPDC staff, with assistance from Northern Neck Tourism Commission staff, will formulate press releases to local and regional newspapers announcing the Northern Neck Water Trails encouraging people to download the maps and enjoy the waters surrounding the Northern Neck. In addition, NNPDC staff will gather digital materials and write up the adventure of paddling some of the local water trails to NNTC staff who use social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to disseminate the information to the public to encourage them to visit the waterways of the Northern Neck.

6) NNPDC staff will create a one page report on how previous projects funded by CZM have produced measurable benefits in subsequent years, and has served as a base for additional projects.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Stuart McKenzie, 804.333.1900 x25;

Project Status:

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

Final Product Received:

Northern Neck Planning District Commission Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program Technical Assistance Grant FY 14, Task 45 Final Report (PDF)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

NNPDC staff provided coastal management support to three towns and four counties of the Northern Neck through environmental mapping services, environmental impact report review, and a letter of support for a grant application. Maps were created for the Lancaster and Northumberland Counties’ Comprehensive Plans, the Northern Neck Land Conservancy, the Friends of the Rappahannock, Northern Neck Master Gardeners Shoreline Assessment Stewards and the Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority (NNCBPAA). NNPDC staff held four local planning coordination meetings for county staff that focused on outdoor recreation, water quality and Virginia’s Stakeholder Advisory Group’s work reconciling the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control law as well as Stormwater Management regulations. NNPDC staff coordinated training sessions on the Virginia Outdoors Plan review, on online comprehensive coastal resource management resources available for shoreline management, and on coastal community resiliency. NNPDC staff assisted Northumberland County with the consolidation of their digital zoning map from tax map parcel based to a single layer. Using a single GIS map layer instead of relying on a parcel based system of zoning classification will make updating and displaying easier for county staff when determining zoning classifications. The digital zoning standalone layer will be used with the county’s Geographic Information System. NNPDC staff continued work on a comprehensive water trail network within the Northern Neck region by creating two water trails in Northumberland County, which previously had no official water trails. A water trail was created on Cockrell Creek, in the area of Reedville, a historic village with long history as a commercial fishing center. The Cockrell Creek Water Trail is a more urbanized water trail, with focus on museums, restaurants, history and the culture of the Reedville area. The starting point for the Cockrell Creek Water Trail is Shell Landing Public Boat Ramp. The Cockrell Creek Water Trail Guide can be accessed online at The other water trail created by NNPDC staff for Northumberland County is the Coan River Water Trail. The Coan River Water Trail is located at the headwaters of the Coan River, near Heathsville, the county seat. The Coan River Water Trail is less developed than the Cockrell Creek Water Trail, and a large portion of the water trail traverses undisturbed forest land, so there is ample opportunity to view wildlife and envision what most of the Northern Neck creeks looked like in the past. The focus of the Coan River Water Trail are two historical steamboat landings, Coan Wharf and Bundick, where the water trail loops back to return to the starting point, which is Rowes Landing Public Boat Ramp. The Coan River Water Trail Guide can be found online at: NNPDC staff worked with Northern Neck Tourism (NNTC) staff on marketing the twelve Northern Neck Water Trails and the NNCBPAA with press releases, by paddling two of the water trails and posting the experience through photos on the NNTC Blog To increase the exposure of the blog, posts were made to the NNTC Facebook account, the NNTC Pinterest Account, the NNTC Tumblr Account as well as the NNTC Twitter Account NNPDC staff also created a Google Map interactive website with all the water trails that can be accessed through the Northern Neck Tourism Website,; the link is under Water Trails. 

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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