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

CZM logoProject Task:



Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Policy Development for Virginia's Working Waterfronts Plan

Project Description as Proposed:

Working waterfronts provide critical access to coastal waters for people engaged in commercial and recreational fishing, seafood processing, boat building, aquaculture and other water-dependent businesses.  Unfortunately, working waterfronts across the nation face serious challenges.


Increasing demand for waterfront properties along Virginia’s coast has resulted in an increase in property values and higher costs for traditional water-front businesses. These and other factors have resulted in Virginia slowly losing its working waterfronts – an issue that may have long-term consequences for local economies, the environment, coastal culture and quality of life. A loss of Working Waterfronts constitutes a potential loss of jobs for watermen (e.g. fishers, shellfish farmers) and the agriculture industry (timber and grain barges); a loss of the identity of the region; and a loss of support industry jobs (boat building, transport, seafood processing, etc.). 


While threats to the existence of our working waterfronts remain, there is growing recognition of the problem and an expanding list of possible solutions. Nationally, coastal states and localities are using planning, zoning, land conservation and acquisition, tax incentives, public improvements and state and local regulations to help preserve their working waterfronts. In many cases these initiatives are the result of a coalition of groups with similar interests including industry associations, nonprofit groups and government agencies.


The proposed project will build on previous efforts that have taken place in FY 11 -13 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. This  plan will 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 thriving components of local economic development.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Lewie Lawrence, 804.758-2311;

Project Status:

10/1/2014 - 9/30/15; Project Open

Final Product Received:


Project Summary Provided by Grantee:


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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