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

Project Task:VA CZM logo

47

Grantee:

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:

$30,000

Project Contact:

Tim Ware, 540.373.2890, ware@gwregion.org  

Project Status:

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

Final Product:

George Washington Regional Commission Coastal Zone Management Technical Assistance Program Report FY2016 (PDF) 

Project Summary:

Training and Coordination Activities

GWRC holds coordination/training meetings for the Regional Stormwater Managers Technical Committee and participates in Coastal PDC meetings with CZM staff. The Regional Stormwater Managers meetings are held quarterly and provide an opportunity to discuss topics of interest related to stormwater management and improve understanding of stormwater regulations and best practices.

Product Format:  Minutes of coordination meetings, digital copies of training materials, program and financial reports. 

Forest Retention Data Gathering

The Mattaponi watershed is created by the confluence of the Matta, Po and Ni Rivers and their tributary streams. The Mattaponi River flows through farmlands which contribute nonpoint source pollution downstream to the York River and Chesapeake Bay. Nonpoint pollution within the watershed is intensified by colonial swamp reclamation infrastructure which resulted in a network of ditches carrying pollutants directly to the Mattaponi River. Removal of these structures by property owners and farm operators will facilitate restoration of the natural Mattaponi wetland, enhancement of farm productivity, reduction of nonpoint pollutants from agricultural run-off, and increased conservation of natural lands which can be utilized for eco-tourism and recreation. Identifying and mapping colonial swamp reclamation infrastructure (drainage ditches, earthen berms, and dams) in relation to tax parcel boundaries was needed to assess potential future wetland areas to be restored to natural topographical conditions.

GWRC created a GIS data layer which identifies colonial swamp reclamation structures (drainage ditches, earthen berms and dams) within the Mattaponi watershed. GWRC used aerial imagery to create this layer. This data will be helpful in a future Healthy Watersheds project that GWRC plans to fund through the Chesapeake Bay Healthy Watersheds Consortium.

Product Format:  GIS data layer 

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 to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov or April.Bahen@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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