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

Project Task:VA Coastal Zone Management Program logo



Virginia Commonwealth University

Project Title:

Coastal VEVA Data Synthesis Update and Coastal GEMS Application Update

Project Description:

This is the second phase of a project begun in FY14 Task 13 to update the Coastal VEVA data synthesis and update and enhance the Coastal GEMS mapping application. 

The Coastal VEVA update will include running the final model to update the Coastal VEVA geospatial data and compiling metadata as well as organizing and participating in outreach focused on educating localities, land trusts, and other parties interested in land conservation and local planning.  

The Coastal GEMS mapping application enhancements will include the creation of map stories based on data hosted on Coastal GEMS and the creation of a new landing page with information about the Coastal GEMS application, data and partners, and links to the new map stories. The Coastal GEMS mapping application updates will incorporate software and user interface updates to allow users to display multiple years of Virginia Base Mapping Program (VBMP) aerial imagery and additional basemaps, and load map services from other sources.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Nick Meade, 804.698.4297,

Project Status:

10/1/16 - 9/30/17; Project Completed

Final Product:

 Coastal VEVA Data Synthesis Update and Coastal GEMS Application Update (PDF)

Project Summary:

Updated Coastal VEVA Geospatial Data: VCU staff ran version 2 of the Coastal VEVA model to create an updated Coastal VEVA dataset.  In addition to the updated raster layer, VCU staff created a vector layer which includes an attribute field to indicate presence of VEVA partner input syntheses.  Coastal VEVA partners met to review the updated (version 2) Coastal VEVA dataset in order to validate the data, discuss factors driving changes from version 1, and talk about next steps.   All partners endorsed the updated data and agreed to retain the 30m resolution (instead of 100m used in previous version) in data shared with the public.  VCU staff did create a 100m resolution version of the updated data and utilized it for percent change analysis between version 1 and version 2.  Factors driving change in each updated partner component dataset (and consequently the Coastal VEVA synthesis) were documented.

Coastal VEVA Educational Materials and Outreach Efforts:  VCU staff made the updated Coastal VEVA data available via a public map service and created a two page Coastal VEVA handout providing information about the data, how it was created, and its intended uses through both text and infographics.  VCU staff presented Coastal VEVA at the Virginia GIS Conference, at a DCR-DNH all staff meeting, and at a VIMS green infrastructure workshop, including slides explaining the data and methodology, exploring changes between Coastal VEVA version 1 and 2, and reviewing intended uses of the data.

Coastal GEMS Application Software and User Interface Updates:  VCU staff created a new draft Coastal GEMS mapping application which includes the ability to view multiple years of VBMP imagery and add data (map services) from outside sources.  This application also improves on/adds other functionalities including map export and fact sheet printing, the ability to restore previous sessions, and advanced attribute tools.  The new draft  mapping application can be found here:

Coastal GEMS Landing Page:  VCU staff created a new Coastal GEMS landing page which includes information about Coastal GEMS and links to launch the mapping application and launch Coastal GEMS map stories, as well as links to relevant VA CZM web pages. The new Coastal GEMS landing page can be found here: 

Once the new landing page and mapping application have been fully tested and fine-tuned, they will be moved to the URL, replacing the current version of the Coastal GEMS mapping application

Coastal GEMS Map Stories:  VCU staff produced four Coastal GEMS story maps utilizing the VCU CES ArcGIS Online organizational account.  These include a cascade story map describing the Coastal VEVA data, methodology, and intended use; a cascade story map detailing the restoration of eelgrass on VA’s Eastern Shore featuring a time enabled interactive map of SAV planting sites and coverage; a story map journal highlighting publicly accessible places in VA’s coastal zone ranked in the highest category of the updated Coastal VEVA; and a story map journal describing the results of the VA CZM funded study of economic impacts of conserved lands on VA’s Eastern Shore.  Links for each story are provided below.

Economics of Conserved Land on Virginia’s Eastern Shore 

oastal Virginia Ecological Value Assessment 

Eight Ecologically Outstanding Places You Can Visit! 

SAV Restoration on the Seaside of VA's Eastern Shore 

isclaimer: 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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