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Virginia CZM Program: 2016 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA CZM logo



Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program

Project Title:

Coastal Program Management

Project Description:

This task covers management of the Virginia CZM Program, administering of all open tasks in this award  and participation in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean and Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body. Three positions are funded through Task 1.01.

The CZM Program Manager chairs the interagency Coastal Policy Team and will hold at least two meetings during FY2016.  She oversees CZM Program policy development, grants, communication/ outreach (including identifying topics and writing articles for the magazine) and GIS efforts. She will guide activities under Tasks 1.01 – 1.04, 2,3, 7, 9 - Land Acquisition, 10- Seaside Restoration, 11,  41 A-N PDC TA Program,  49-Marine Mammal/Sea Turtle Stranding, and 95 Virginia Ocean Resources Strategy, and the Section 310 Marine Debris Shoreline Survey (Task 81). The Manager will continue to serve on MARCO’s Management Board and as its Chair through June of 2017. She leads the every other week Board conference calls and in-person meetings ~3 times per year. She chairs MARCO’s Ocean Mapping & Data Team which oversees improvements to MARCO’s Ocean Data Portal as well as engaging stakeholders to create and vet ocean data.  She will continue as one of  Virginia’s two representatives to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (RPB) where she serves as the state co-Chair of the Data Synthesis Work Group and will serve as state “champion” for further development and implementation of 4 of the 6 “Healthy Ocean Ecosystem” and  the 3 “Portal” actions in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan. The Virginia CZM Program Manager supervises staff within Tasks 1.01, 1.02, 1.03 and 1.04.  The CZM Manager will begin planning for the November 16-17, 2016 Biennial Coastal Partners Workshop. Finally, she will oversee completion of year 1 Ocean and Marine Debris Strategy grants for the 2016-2020 Section 309 strategy.

The Coastal Planner will work on grants in year 1 of the 2016- 2020 Section 309 grant cycle, especially the Working Waterfronts, and Land Conservation in the Chickahominy Watershed CSI strategy projects.   She will also write magazine articles. The Coastal Planner will work with specific Section 306 projects with two planning district commissions on regional native plant campaigns, and will oversee  Tasks 52 and 53 306-A public access construction projects. The Task 1.01 Coastal Planner also works with 4 of the 8 coastal planning district commissions on technical assistance. The Coastal Planner in Task 1.01 will work with the Coastal Planner in Task 1.03 to update the enforceable policies of the Virginia CZM Program.

The Grants Coordinator/Outreach Specialist provides maintenance and operation of the grants database and troubleshoots administrative issues with grantees. Duties include data entry and report production, reminders, applications, contracts, etc. This position drafts meeting summaries of the Coastal Policy Team and others as needed.  She organizes submission of performance measures to NOAA and ensures all reporting guidelines are followed for Section A, B and C reports.  This position works with the Outreach Coordinator (Task 1.02) to develop and disseminate outreach materials and represent the Virginia CZM Program at outreach functions.

Grant activities undertaken by all staff include: development, monitoring and reporting on all grants (CZM Sections 306/306A, 309, 309 Projects of Special Merit, and 310); development and submittal of reprogramming and extension requests; and any Section 309 PSM or other applications.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Laura McKay, 804.698.4323;

Project Status:

10/1/16 - 3/31/18; Project Completed

Final Product:

 Final Project Summary serves as Final Product

Project Summary:

Policy Team Products (5%):  Meetings were held 1/18/17 and 8/3/176.  Agendas and summaries are available at

RPCs and Amendments (5%): CZM staff helped develop draft narrative enforceable policies for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, including new policies for state-listed threatened and endangered species of animals, plants and insects. Seven meetings were held by the William & Mary Coastal Policy Center (CPC) through a grant from Virginia CZM. Narrative enforceable policies were drafted for tidal & non-tidal wetlands, submerged lands, beaches and dunes, and fisheries (policies administered by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and DEQ – Wetlands Program)

Grants Management & Reporting (30%): The Section A Semiannual Grant Progress Report, Section B Agency Report, and Section C Success Story were compiled and submitted to NOAA in October, 2016 and April, 2017.  The CZM Manager and Coastal Planners monitored grant activities through phone calls and visits. The Grants Coordinator and CZM Manager processed extension and budget amendment requests, 306 A documentation approvals, SAC removals, and reprogrammed funds using Grants Online. The Coastal Planners assisted with coordination and participated in Quarterly Coastal PDC meetings.

FY 17 CZM Grant Application (10%):  The Draft Application was submitted to NOAA on 3/22/17 and the Final Application was submitted on 6/9/17 via the CAMMP and systems. Two new focal areas were selected for funding: 1) Promotion of Sustainable Industries – Shellfish Aquaculture and Ecotourism; 2) Support for nature-based and community resilience.

Section 309 PSM Grant Applications (2.5%):  Virginia was awarded a 2015 Section 309 Project of Special Merit for a project entitled “Implementing Sustainable Shoreline Management in Virginia: Assessing the Need for an Enforceable Policy”.  The subcontract to VIMS for the project was signed in February, 2016. CZM staff monitored the work on the grant. Virginia submitted a project of special merit application supplementing the Ocean Resources Strategy focusing on Ecologically Rich Areas.  This project was not selected for funding. However the concept of funding stakeholder engagement work and support for implementing the Ocean Action Plan’s action on identifying Ecologically Rich Areas was converted to an FY17 Section 309 task under “ocean resources.”

Performance Measures (2.5%):  Virginia CZM staff tracked performance measures throughout the year on the Core Performance Measures of Government Coordination & Decision Making, Public Access, Coastal Habitat, Coastal Hazards, and Coastal Dependent Uses & Community Development categories).  CZM also logged training activities.

Ocean Planning: MARCO and RPB Planning Documents (25%): The VA CZM Manager continued as Chair of MARCO through June 2017 and led the monthly conference calls as well as a March 6-7 Board meeting. In July 2017 New Jersey began its term as MARCO Chair. She continued to serve as State Co-Lead for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body helping to oversee submission of the mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan in fall of 2016.  The plan was certified by the National Ocean Council in December 2016. She continued to lead or co-lead the RPB’s Healthy Ocean Ecosystem actions for the Ocean Plan as well as the Portal actions and co-chaired the June 19-20 RPB meeting in Silver Spring. She also prepared the RPB’s semi-annual report on progress and work plan for subsequent six months. Participated in April 4-5 Changing Ocean Conditions workshop to discuss mapping of species’ shifts. In May 2017 the Mid-Atlantic RPB was presented with the Peter Benchley Award for “Excellence in Solutions” for its work on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan. On May 19, 2017 the VA CZM Manager led a workshop on identification of Ecologically Rich Areas in the Mid-Atlantic. On June 5-7 Virginia CZM hosted a workshop on community-based social marketing targeting marine debris reduction to train Mid-Atlantic partners and to work with RPB members to select a marine debris source for a regional project. July 19-20 participated in a regional workshop to select indicators of ocean health. Sep 29 hosted a training workshop on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal for Virginia partners. Materials are posted on the MARCO website at and the Ocean Data Portal at www.  The VIMS Coastal Planner participated in the MARCO Climate Change Action Team and helped facilitate Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network’s Ocean Acidification Workshop in Annapolis.

Outreach Materials (5%):  CZM staff worked on articles for the spring 2016 issue of CZM magazine. The Program Manager wrote articles on ocean planning, collaborating with fishermen on offshore wind planning and marine debris.  The Coastal Planners wrote articles on land conservation in the Chickahominy, coastal hazards and the program’s evaluation by NOAA. PM served on Ocean Frontiers Film panels on Oct 6 and Feb 23. The Outreach Specialist updated the exhibit for the 2016 ES Birding and Wildlife Festival, the PowerPoint with students’ artwork and the introductory PowerPoint that the teachers present to their students for the Art Contest. The CZM Program Manager and Coastal Planner wrote articles for the fall 2017 issue of the CZM Magazine [NOTE: This issue was not completed until 2018]. For the October 2017 Birding Festival, the CZM Program Manager and Outreach Specialist prepared the poster, an exhibit and the student artwork school award. The CZM Manager was filmed at the VA Aquarium on June 2 for a video on marine debris. The CZM Manager worked with grantees from George Mason to develop an infographic on the economics of land conservation. 

Events Sponsorship (2.5%): VA CZM sponsored the October 2016 Birding Festival.  The poster awards were presented by the PM at the festival’s opening reception and the OS managed the photography contest. PM participated in a Nov 29 festival committee at which decision was made to turn over festival to Sunset Beach Resort and 2 contractors.  Festival was planned to become a public/private partnership. Funds were not spent for the 2017 Birding Festival due to a scaling down of the event nor for the Virginia Beach Watersheds Forum due to its cancellation.  Virginia CZM did provide a $2000 sponsorship to William & Mary’s Coastal Policy Center for its Annual Conference on Oct 27, 2017 which was entitled “Defending Our Coasts: Ensuring Military Readiness and Economic Viability as Waters Rise.” 

312 Metrics (5%):  312 Metrics information on Seaside Habitat Restoration (Eelgrass Planted and Bay Scallops Released) and Shoreline Management Plans was collected from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and submitted through the Section B report to NOAA on October 30, 2016.    312 Metrics information for the report due Oct. 30, 2017 on Seaside Habitat Restoration (Eelgrass Planted and Bay Scallops Released) and Shoreline Management Plans was collected from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS).

Coastal Partners Workshop (5%): November 2016 workshop products are available at:

Program Representation (2.5%): The Program Manager gave a talk on ocean planning to ~140 DEQ staff on Feb 6; spoke on panel for Ocean Frontiers film to 260 at VA Aquarium on Feb 8; participated in Mar 2-3 NOAA Program Managers’ Meeting; met with Sea Grant grad students to share career path story on Mar 10; spoke at Mar 22 VA Water Monitoring Council conference to ~120 on related CZM grants. The CZM Manager presented ocean planning info at the May 9 Blue Vision Summit in D.C. and along with RPB Co-leads accepted the Peter Benchley Award on May 11 for “solutions” for development of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan. She continued participation in meetings of the Southern Tip Partnership to acquire, restore and protect migratory bird habitat on the E. Shore.  The Coastal Planner spoke on development of VA Working Waterfronts Plan at Environment Virginia Symposium on April 5, 2017 and helped launch the George Washington region Native Plant Campaign at Earth Day Fredericksburg. The Birding Festival Art Award was presented by the Outreach Specialist at the Outdoor Exploration Day at Kiptopeke State Park on Oct 7, 2017 and she developed and conducted a kids’ activity for the Outdoor Exploration Day.  The VIMS Coastal Planner participated in the Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative, the Chesapeake Bay Interagency Team, and the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Climate Resiliency Workgroup.  He made presentations to the Virginia Tech Environmental Leadership Institute and the VCU Conservation Applications class. 

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 or


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

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