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

Project Task:VA CZM logo



Department of Environmental Quality - VA Coastal Zone Management Program

Project Title:

Eastern Shore Land Acquisition

Project Description:

Since 1991 the Virginia CZM Program has been concerned about the loss of migratory bird stopover habitat on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Studies funded by the Virginia CZM Program have shown that this area supports huge numbers of songbirds, raptors, shorebirds and other birds as they stop to rest and feed during their southward migration to Central and South America each fall. Virginia's CELCP Plan shows the southern tip, bayside and seaside of the Eastern Shore as having "Outstanding" and “Very High” ecological value (the two top tiers of Virginia’s 5 tiered scale). In fact this area has the largest, contiguous outstanding and very high value areas in Virginia’s entire coastal zone. The Eastern Shore currently has high water quality that also supports a $50 million per year clam farming industry. It is imperative to maintain the high ecological quality of this region. Development pressures were slowed by the recent recession but the land sales are starting to pick up again and Northampton County is considering zoning changes that could negatively impact the conservation of important habitats. Governor McAuliffe’s Administration has made conservation of an additional 400,000 acres one of its few environmental goals making this an excellent time for acquisitions.

FY 12, FY13 and FY14 funds were allocated, with guidance from the interagency Southern Tip Partners, to two parcels for sale just south of the Pickett’s Harbor Natural Area Preserve. These “Beautiful Woods” contain ancient secondary dunes with excellent maritime forest that provide much needed habitat for migratory birds.

FY15 and 16 CZM funds are being allocated with guidance from the interagency Southern Tip Partners, to a parcel in Northampton County just east of route 13 within the critical migratory songbird stopover habitat.

FY17 funds will be discussed at the March 2017 and Fall 2017 Southern Tip partners meetings to determine the next priority acquisition parcels to pursue.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Laura McKay, 804.698.4323;

Project Status:

10/1/17 - 9/30/18; 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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