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

Project Task:VA CZM logo



George Washington Regional Commission

Project Title:

George Washington Regional Commission Coastal Zone Management Assistance 

Project Description:

The project offers two components to provide technical assistance and planning support to the local governments of the George Washington Regional Commission (GWRC) service area. These components include: 1) the continuation of support for the Regional Stormwater Managers Technical Committee; and 2) gathering of forest retention data to identify colonial swamp reclamation infrastructure.

The Regional Stormwater Managers Technical Committee will continue to meet quarterly to discuss topics of mutual interest including any new or revised regulatory changes, best practices, and other matters important to the group. This group has been effective in facilitating and propagating the latest changes in the stormwater regulations and best practices.  Members have participated well and given positive and constructive feedback.

The Mattaponi watershed is highlighted in the GWRC Regional Green Infrastructure Plan as a high-priority eco-corridor, with potential for supporting the preservation, protection, and enhancement of native species, natural habitats, and water quality. GWRC received funding from the Chesapeake Bay Healthy Watersheds Consortium to conduct Phase I of the Healthy Watersheds project. In Phase I, the Rappahannock River Basin (Figure 1) was selected as the project study area to serve as a proxy for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The objective of Phase I was to model various land use scenarios as a proof-of-concept pilot using EPA/TMDL model methodologies and land use data provided by GWRC to determine if forest retention actions by individual localities would result in a decrease in loads over their 2025 project TMDL load allocations. The results from that study confirm the water quality and healthy watershed value associated with forest retention. The Mattaponi River flows through farmlands which carries nonpoint source pollution downstream to the York River and Chesapeake Bay. Colonial swamp reclamation infrastructure within the watershed has resulted in a network of ditches carrying pollutants directly into the Mattaponi River. Enhancing the green infrastructure resources within the Mattaponi watershed through the guidance of the watershed implementation plan and associated restoration projects will help facilitate the restoration of the natural Mattaponi wetland, enhance farm productivity, reduce non-point agricultural run-off and enhance natural lands for eco-tourism and recreation. The technical assistance provided through this grant will enable GWRC to map identified colonial swamp reclamation infrastructure (drainage ditches, earthen berms, and dams) in relation to tax parcel boundaries to assess potential future wetland restoration projects. Additional grant funds are available through the Healthy Watersheds funding, but this infrastructure information is a critical component to initiating Phase II of the Healthy Watersheds project.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Tim Ware, 540.373.2890,  

Project Status:

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

Final Product:


Project Summary:


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:

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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