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

Project Task:CZM logo

93.03

Grantee:

Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Pushing the Envelope - Introducing Working Waterfront Legislation and Expanding the Working Waterfront Inventory

Project Description:

As the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program’s Coastal Needs Assessment and Strategy for FY2011 -2015 came to a close last year with the development of a Virginia Working Waterfront Plan, new proposed policies and action items in this plan will be implemented during this project period. 

Benefits to coastal management include coordinated planning efforts between federal, state and local levels of government, as well as private sector stakeholders.  Therefore as the coastal planning district commissions work to preserve working waterfronts and associated industries, seeking legislation is a critical step forward. Some local watermen are not in a financial position to secure insurance coverage for their work vessels or the vessel is not insurable due to age. Private marinas that allow uninsured workboats incur risk and therefore, many no longer allow these boats at their facilities.  This project will focus on the creation of either a state sponsored uninsured “motorist” program for workboats or a self-funded insurance program for workboats. During this project period, MPPDC staff will conduct a feasibility study focused on how an uninsured workboat program could be implemented within the Commonwealth. To develop such a program, research will focus on how the uninsured motorist program (§38.2-2206 and § 46.2-710) works and how to modify it to insure infrastructure of marinas who allow uninsured commercial workboats to dock. MPPDC staff will explore if the uninsured motorist statue that intends to relieve insured drivers (insured marinas), to a certain extent, of risk of injury or damage resulting for negligent conduct of financially irresponsible uninsured persons (commercial workboats). MPPDC staff will also look at the self-funded vanpool insurance program operated through the Department of Risk Management as a model for creating a Workboat Self-Insurance Pool. Additionally, there will be discussions, review and refinement of other legislative solutions that benefit working waterfronts, including tools for protection of working waterfronts. In order to gain support for legislative solutions MPPDC staff will coordinate with Legislative Services as well as General Assembly Delegates and Senators. In particular, Delegates and Senators will be educated with the intent that they will want to support the bill as co-sponsor.  Each rural working waterfront region will also distribute suggested legislative solutions locally for comment.

Second, this project will work to expand the working waterfront inventories to include public landings currently being utilized by watermen, based on available public data. While having access to and having legal rights to access public landings are very different issues, MPPDC staff hopes to provide some clarity. MPPDC staff will consult with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) to understand their position on watermen’s use of DGIF sites. In addition, a coarse analysis of working waterfronts sites in the remaining coastal planning districts (i.e. Richmond Regional, George Washington, and Crater PDCs) will be conducted by Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC). HRPDC will utilize datasets such as Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and Standard Industrial Classification; HRPDC will create maps with point locations of the various working waterfront businesses in the three coastal PDC’s listed above not currently covered in the coastal zone inventory. This will provide a complete dataset of the coastal zone to be utilized by GEMS.

Federal Funding:

$50,000

Project Contact:

Jackie Rickards, 215-264-6451, jrickards@mppdc.com

Project Status:

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

Final Product:

Pushing the Envelope - Introducing Working Waterfront Legislation and Expanding the Working Waterfront Inventory (PDF)

Project Summary:

Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC) staff continued to coordinate with the Working Waterfront Steering Committee to focus on implementing recommendations focused on the preservation of working waterfronts and associated industries within coastal Virginia outlined in the Virginia Working Waterfront Master Plan. More specifically, during this project MPPDC staff coordinated with the Working Waterfront Steering Committee to (1) explore the creation of either a state sponsored uninsured “motorist” program or a self-funded insurance program for workboats, (2) discuss, review, and refine legislative solutions that benefit working waterfronts and associated dredging concerns, and (3) expand the working waterfront inventory to include sites in the Richmond Regional, George Washington, Northern Virginia, and Crater Planning District Commission regions.

Through research of the Commonwealth’s Uninsured Motorist Program (§38.2-2206) and the Uninsured Motorist Fund (§46.2-710) and interviews with local marinas and insurance companies, MPPDC staff found that watermen are eligible to purchase boat insurance by meeting insurance company requirements, however it was found that some watermen do not follow through with the process (i.e. marine survey and fixing deficiencies) and in some cases are not willing to pay for or cannot afford the insurance premium. Consequently, MPPDC staff concluded that there was no need for an uninsured workboat program since insurance is readily available for commercial workboats.

This project also focused on developing legislative solutions to improve working waterfronts. During Working Waterfront Steering Committee meetings, multiple legislative ideas were shared and discussed. These legislative solutions were also shared with the Director of Policy and Legislation for Kirk Cox, Majority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates to determine the most appropriate ideas to bundle into a legislative package for rural coastal Virginia for the 2018 General Assembly Session. 

Finally, MPPDC staff contracted with Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) to conduct a coarse analysis of working waterfronts sites in the remaining coastal planning districts (i.e. Richmond Regional, George Washington, Northern Virginia, and Crater PDCs). With access to datasets such as Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and Standard Industrial Classification, HRPDC created GIS shapefiles and maps of working waterfronts for the four PDCs listed above. This provides a complete inventory of the working waterfront sites in coastal Virginia that will be utilized by GEMS.

 

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 toVirginia.Witmer@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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