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

Project Task Number:

44

Grantee:

Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission 

Project Title:

Technical Assistance Program

Project Description:

MPPDC’s Coastal Resources Technical Assistance Program provides the necessary administrative framework to assist rural coastal local governments across the Middle Peninsula with access to enhanced coastal zone management tools and techniques that balance economic development with protecting coastal resources.   For the federal FY 15 grant, the work program will consist of three distinct tasks:

1) MPPDC staff will provide coastal management support to local government elected officials, chief administrative officers for local governments, local planning staff, local planning commissions and wetlands board’s staff.  For example, MPPDC staff will provide research services for ongoing and new or emerging coastal issues such as local land use policy and real estate land taxing issues centered on repetitive flooding, sea level rise, loss of population and federal -state regulations redirecting development away from the waterfront.        

2) MPPDC staff will convene monthly-quarterly meetings with local government level planners, government administrators, and other appropriate government and NGO committees to assist with improved coastal planning.  Through these meetings, Coastal Planners illuminate choices which policy makers can use to help inform decisions.

3) Special Project:  MPPDC staff will provide direct research and facilitation support for the implementation of the 2015-2016 Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority (PAA) annual work plan. Focus will be provided in two areas of need:

a.  MPPDC staff will assist PAA with the management of a growing portfolio of donated private waterfront sites.  The Captain Sinclair’s Recreation area, located in Gloucester Virginia is completing the development of an adaptive reuse plan to maximize public benefit of the 100 acre waterfront plantation.  One emerging opportunity is the leveraging of the site for public demonstration projects such as living shorelines and native landscapes with indoor education learning space to educate the public.  We propose to categorize native Virginia plants based on nitrogen uptake levels and soil stabilization that can be utilized in conjunction with living shoreline projects.   

b. Middlesex County has requested technical planning assistance to coordinate local public access policy and propose new management approaches for the provision of public access across the county.

Federal Funding:

$30,000

Project Contact:

Lewie Lawrence; 804.758.2311; llawrence@mppdc.com

Project Status:

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

Final Product:

MPPDC Coastal Resources Technical Assistance Program (PDF)

Project Summary:

Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC) staff strives to create and implement adaptive management techniques, enhance communication between local, regional and state officials, and inform planning resource allocation decisions by local, regional, and state coastal managers, all made possible through the Technical Assistance (TA) Program. Specifically, the TA Program provides MPPDC with the necessary administrative framework to assist rural Middle Peninsula coastal localities (i.e. staff and elected officials) and community level groups to enhance coastal management tools and techniques that balance economic development with the protection of valuable coastal resources. Middle Peninsula localities rely annually on MPPDC staff to provide professional and technical coastal zone management planning assistance on regional coastal issues and policy and legislative changes that impact how the issues are addressed. Over the past year, the MPPDC made significant strides in providing education and assistance on issues such as stormwater management, public health and safety, , nitrogen and sediment removal, public access and adding economic value to blue and green infrastructure. For the Federal FY 15 grant, Task 44, MPPDC completed five distinct products under the FY 2015 work program:

Product #1) MPPDC staff provided coastal management support to local government elected officials, local planning commissions and local planning staff and wetlands board’s staff.  For example, MPPDC staff provided  assistance to Delegate Keith Hodges, 98th District on approaches to improve the implementation of the 2016 Stormwater Consolidation bill (HB1250/SB673).  The final product of this stormwater research was a report prepared in partnership with William & Mary Law School’s Virginia Coastal Policy Center on the perceived and real problems associated with HB1250/SB673 and possible solutions. (http://www.mppdc.com/index.php/reports/2016)

Product #2) MPPDC convened monthly and quarterly meetings with local government level planners, administrators and other government and nongovernment committees to assist with improved coastal planning. The meetings facilitated discussions of issues and solutions or alternatives that influenced policy and decision making.  Considerable time was spent working with the Virginia Department of Health explaining how funding is related to the delivery of public health, safety and welfare services across the Middle Peninsula.

Product #3) MPPDC staff working with Dr. James Perry, Professor of Marine Science, Secretary General Society of Wetland Scientists to ascertain which native Virginia plants can provide enhanced nitrogen uptake and shoreline stabilization.  The literature research is inconclusive and more research is needed.  MPPDC has collected and prepared general native plants information for public education.  

Product #4). MPPDC staff facilitated the use of two VCU Graduate Students to assess and inventory 16 public access sites recommended by Middlesex County for study.  Inventory work evaluated each site for use, expansion, and management options.

Product #5). MPPDC looking to leverage Blue and Green assets within the rural Coastal area of Virginia has provided additional enhancements to the work of the Rappahannock River Basin Commission looking for ways to utilize forest cover as creditable BMPs for nitrogen and phosphorus removal.

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:Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy toVirginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov

 

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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