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Virginia CZM Program: 2015 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task Number:



George Washington Regional Commission

Project Title:

George Washington Regional Commission Coastal Zone Management Assistance

Project Description:

The project offers four components to provide technical assistance, and planning support to the local governments of the George Washington Regional Commission service area.  These components include: 1) the continuation of support for the Regional Stormwater Managers Technical Committee; 2) create a classified land cover data layer to identify the region’s gray and green infrastructure; 3) develop an environmental ordinance for Caroline County that consolidates their floodplain management, erosion & sediment, stormwater management, and Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act requirements (FPM, ESC, SWMA, CBPA); 4) collaboratively strategize how to expand the Native Plant Campaign throughout the GWRC area.

The Regional Stormwater Managers Technical Committee will meet quarterly to discuss topics of mutual interest including new or revised regulatory changes, best practices, and other matters important to the group.   

In 2014 the University of Mary Washington developed the GWRC Green Infrastructure Plan known as CLEAR (Climate, Environment, and Readiness) that CZM funded in 2008-2010.  That plan includes classified land cover data at 30 meter resolution. The plan has a recommended goal to improve the classified land cover data layer to identify the region’s gray and green infrastructure at a one meter resolution.  The technical assistance provided through this grant will enable GWRC to achieve that identified goal. 

Caroline County has requested a new 'Environmental Chapter' concept to consolidate and strengthen their floodplain management, erosion & sediment, stormwater management, and Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (FPM, ESC, SWMA, CBPA) requirements.  This effort would guide how these programs are coordinated, consolidated, and improved in accordance with State regulations.  The project will identify code and regulatory issues at the State level for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) consideration. This project could serve as a model environmental ordinance for localities.

GWRC is interested in pursuing a regional native plant campaign similar to the campaigns supported by Virginia CZM in Northern Virginia, on the Eastern Shore and on the Northern Neck.  GWRC will bring together partners interested in collaborating on a campaign and participating on a campaign steering/planning team.  This team will help identify available resources for a campaign, and will guide and assist in conducting a pre-campaign assessment.  With this assessment in hand, the steering/planning team will begin outlining a campaign strategy for the Plant GW Natives campaign, which may replicate some of the components used with such effectiveness in the other regional campaigns, including partnerships with key garden centers in the region, a Community Leader Program, point of sale materials, demonstration gardens, and multi-media materials such as a regional plant guide. 

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Tim Ware; 540.373.2890;

Project Status:

10/1/15 - 9/30/16; Project Completed

Final Product:

GWRC Coastal Zone Management Technical Assistance Program Report FY 2015 (PDF) 

Project Summary:

GWRC has been holding coordination/training meetings for the Regional Stormwater Managers Technical Committee and participating in quarterly Coastal PDC meetings with DEQ-CZM staff. The Regional Stormwater Managers meetings are held for members to discuss topics of interest related to stormwater management and to improve understanding of stormwater regulations and best practices. Regional Stormwater Managers meetings were held on April 19th, July 21st, and September 20th. Quarterly PDC meetings continued throughout the grant cycle.


GWRC utilized a GIS mapping intern to create a classified land cover data layer that identified the region’s gray and green infrastructure.  


A model environmental ordinance was drafted for Caroline County which consolidates the requirements for the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (ESCL), Stormwater Management Act (SWMA), Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA), Construction General Permit, and the Virginia Floodplain Management program. Caroline County staff provided feedback throughout the ordinance development process. The model environmental ordinance was presented to the Caroline County Planning Commission on August 18, 2016.


GWRC brought together partners interested in collaborating on a regional native plant campaign to form a steering committee to identify available resources for a campaign and conduct an assessment to inform development of a campaign strategy. The Regional Native Plant Campaign Steering Team posted an online survey from May-June 2016. GWRC also hosted a focus group on July 26, 2016. The discussions generated from the focus group mirrored the online survey results to a large extent. In general, participants of the online survey and the focus group were a more educated audience on the topic of native plants, but there is a need for more information about native plants and where to purchase them. The Regional Native Plant Steering Team identified buyers (homeowners, developers, professional landscapers, and HOAs) as the primary audience for the campaign. The Steering Team decided suppliers (installers, designers, retailers, and nurseries) would be the secondary audience. The Steering Team held a final meeting for this grant cycle on September 21, 2016 to outline the other components of the campaign strategy including native plant image/perception, barriers, availability, education objectives, behavior change measures, and timing of campaign “rollout.”

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

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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