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

Project Task Number:CZM logo



Northern Neck Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Revision of the Chesapeake Bay and Northern Neck Guide to Rural Living Book and Northern Neck Environmental Education Regional Coordination Website Launch

Project Description:

In the winter of 1997, citizens of the Northern Neck were introduced to the  Tidewater Low County Almanac, A Guide to Environmentally Sensitive Living on Virginia's Northern Neck, which was created to assist citizens in complying with Virginia's newly enacted Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, and to familiarize persons living in, or moving to, Virginia's Northern Neck of the ecological sensitivity of the coastal resources in this region. The creation and printing of the Tidewater Low Country Almanac was partially funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (Grant # NA470Z0287). In 2003, the NNPDC revised the Almanac and renamed it The Northern Neck & Chesapeake Bay: A Regional Guide to Rural Living. The revision process included updating text, revising contact information for government agencies, adding web links to the contact list, adding illustrations and revising the book format. Approximately 90% of the original content was retained in the 2003 revision, along with 10% new content. The NNPDC printed 3,000 guides in 2003 and an additional 5,000 guides in 2004. Counties, partner organizations such as the Northern Neck Soil and Water Conservation District (NNSWCD), the Northern Neck Tourism Commission, and area realtors have distributed all of those copies of the Northern Neck Guide to citizens. The NNPDC seeks to continue to build on previous VACZM funding and further realize future coastal resources stewardship from previous grants.  The NNPDC proposes to revise the Guide, check contact information for agencies and update email addresses, phone numbers and website addresses. In addition, NNPDC staff plan to add a section regarding the traditional industries of agriculture and working waterfronts to note that there are some externalities from these industries that citizens need to expect when moving to a rural area. For example new comers may encounter seasonal agricultural harvesting late into the evening, or watermen starting workboats early each morning before they go to work their crab pots or fish nets. This section will emphasize the historic and cultural importance of these industries and their ongoing contribution to the overall economy of the Northern Neck. To accompany and enhance the Northern Neck Guide, the NNPDC, in cooperation with NNSWCD staff and the newly formed Northern Neck Environmental Stewardship Consortium, will formulate and create a Northern Neck Environmental Education website that will act as a clearinghouse for environmental information for the region as well as for a digital version of the Regional Guide. One of the key components to the Northern Neck Environmental Education website will be a calendar of regional events that will notify the public, as well as aid in future scheduling to avoid conflicts of upcoming hazardous waste cleanups, pesticide collection dates, river cleanups, rain barrel workshops and other environmentally related events. NNPDC and NNSWCD staff will also hold at least two coordination meetings with local and regional environmental organizations such as the Northumberland Association for Progressive Stewardship (NAPS), Northern Neck Master Gardeners, Northern Neck Native Plant Society, Northern Neck Audubon, Menokin Foundation, Hull Springs Farm, Friends of the Rappahannock, Northern Neck Land Conservancy and others to solicit ideas for suggested features to be included within the Northern Neck Environmental Education website. The organizations listed above will be invited to funnel their organization's digital environmental education materials to the NNPDC to be included in the Northern Neck Environmental Education website for dissemination to the public. The Northern Neck environmental website,, once completed, will be announced to the public with a press release to the local newspapers, and postcards printed with the website address. Postcards about the website will be distributed at workshops, events and farmers markets.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Stuart McKenzie; 804.333.1900 x25;

Project Status:

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

Final Product:

Revision of the Chesapeake Bay and Northern Neck Guide to Rural Living Book and Northern Neck Environmental Education Regional Coordination Website Launch - Final Project Summary (PDF) 

Project Summary:

Task 55 developed an environmental-information website set up at, to be officially launched on February 1, 2017. The site acts as a regional clearinghouse for environmental topics relevant to the Northern Neck of Virginia. It is regularly updated via posts from members of the Northern Neck Environmental Consortium, which includes representatives from Belle Isle State Park, Caledon State Park, Citizens Climate Education, Friends of Belle Isle, Springs Farm, Northern Neck Chapter of the National Audubon Society, Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society, Northern Neck Land Conservancy, Northern Neck Master Gardeners, Northern Neck Master Naturalists, Northern Neck Soil and Water Conservation, Northumberland Association for Progressive Stewardship, The Wetlands Project, Three Rivers Environmental Educators, Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association, and Westmoreland State Park. The base of was the booklet Northern Neck & Chesapeake Bay: A Regional Guide to Rural Living, published in 2003. The content of this printed guide was updated and made part of the website.

To market, 5,000 promotional postcards were printed. These will be distributed by members of the Northern Neck Environmental Consortium as well as the Northern Neck Tourism Commission. Copies will be given to the region’s real estate agents so that they can include them in welcome packets for new homeowners. Additional promotional efforts have been scheduled for when the website is officially launched. They include a news release to local and regional media, display ads in the four newspapers with highest circulation in the Northern Neck, a full-color, half-page ad in a regional magazine (The Local Scoop), and an ad in the Northern Neck Tourism Commission’s brochure (to be printed in 2017), which has a circulation of 50,000.

Development of required the effort of several members of the Northern Neck Environmental Consortium and meetings with Northern Neck PDC staff. Meetings and team work sessions took place on 11/16/15, 01/19/16, 02/08/16, 04/26/16, 08/15/16, 08/23/16, 08/30/16, 09/29/16, 10/18/16, 11/08/16, 11/10/16, 12/06/16, and 12/09/16. There will also be a final meeting on 01/25/17 to coordinate the site’s official launch and marketing efforts. 

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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