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Virginia CZM Program: 2017 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

VA CZM logoProject Task:



The Nature Conservancy

Project Title:

Atlantic Coast Interpretive Signage: Seaside Eastern Shore

Project Description:

A team of project partners (Departments of Conservation & Recreation and Game & Inland Fisheries, Marine Resources Commission, US Fish & Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy and the Virginia CZM Program), have identified the need for a more coordinated approach to communicating information about the seaside of Virginia’s Eastern Shore that will increase the public’s understanding not only of the ecological importance of the area but also the recreational opportunities that exist and associated visitor and access policies in place to preserve the natural integrity of the system. 

The match portion of this project will fund design and development of a website and additional outreach tools necessary to communicate information about natural resource management and recreational opportunities along the Atlantic coastline of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  The federal CZM funds for this project will also include design costs as well as updating of five existing interpretive kiosks at various public access points along Virginia’s Atlantic coast from the southern tip of the Virginia’s Eastern Shore to Chincoteague.  Five existing information kiosks with replaceable panels were funded under the 2002-2007 CZM Seaside Heritage Program (manufactured by Pannier).  These will be updated with new panels.  These free-standing kiosks are located in Chincoteague, Wachapreague, Willis Wharf, Oyster and at a Northampton County-owned site within the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge at the southern tip of the Eastern Shore.  Under a separate task (Task 73.02), two additional new kiosks will be fabricated and installed. The new interpretive signage for all 7 kiosks will point out the ecological value, management scenarios and ecotourism opportunities of the nearshore environment as well as other ecological and/or recreational points of interest to be determined by the project team (e.g. offshore canyon habitats, marine debris).      

As part of the broader effort referenced above, the project team, led by TNC, will create a website that will serve as a coordinated “online visitor center” representing various groups and agencies invested in protecting and managing the seaside of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  TNC will contract with the studio, Waystone Design, specializing in designing websites and outreach material with science content for this effort.  TNC has had prior experience with products developed by Waystone Design and is familiar with the studio’s unique expertise in working with a variety of federal, state and NGO partners to communicate the exact type of information related to this project.  Therefore, we believe that their expertise and experience, combined with our prior relationship with them, make them the only appropriate vendor.  The design and content of the website will provide the foundation for the development of associated outreach materials, including the interpretive kiosks to be designed and produced as part of this project.  Collectively, the website and associated outreach materials (i.e. kiosks, brochures, posters, etc.) will have a consistent look and message architecture and will present key information to visitors regarding resource management and ecotourism opportunities in the area.

As work progresses this project team will consult with the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission as they work to update the Seaside Water Trail to ensure connections are made and each project references the other (see FY17 Task 72).

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Alexandra Wilke, 757.442.5417;

Project Status:

10/1/2017 - 12/31/2018; 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

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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