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

Project Task:VA CZM logo



Virginia Institute of Marine Science 

Project Title:

Coastal Resiliency and Shoreline Management - Adaptive Management for Resilient Communities 

Project Description:

For several years, the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VA-CZMP) has supported the development of shoreline data that contributes to Coastal GEMS, the Comprehensive Coastal Resource Management Portals (CCRMPs), and shoreline management strategies.  With the shift in management priorities at local levels towards coastal resiliency, these data have been the backbone for the recent development of resiliency tools now populating the Virginia coastal resiliency atlas known as AdaptVA.  This one stop shop addressing all issues surrounding coastal adaptation and resiliency, is the gateway to geo-spatial models and tools developed to encourage the use of nature based solutions, support flood risk management in the Commonwealth, and address physical and social vulnerability within Tidewater communities.  Managers of AdaptVA collaborate with state agencies and solicit input from local governments through various venues to insure stakeholders’ needs are met.    The need for up-to-date, accurate baseline data pertaining to shoreline condition remains a critical priority.  The tools and models dependent on these data influence local and state policy and help local governments implement statewide mandates. 

For this funding period, we propose to update Shoreline Inventories for four Tidewater localities with databases that are more than 10 years old.   These localities include:  Richmond, Essex, Caroline and New Kent counties.  Tidal Marsh Inventories will be updated for Essex and Richmond counties.  These two efforts enable completion of four more Comprehensive Coastal Resource Management Portals (CCRMPs) for Tidewater localities.  As a component of the CCRMP,  the nature based modeling for shoreline BMPs through the Shoreline Management Model (SMM) will be performed. 

The SMM models areas suitable for living shorelines based on shoreline and nearshore conditions derived from the Shoreline Inventory and other datasets and models.  The model is widely recognized as a comprehensive resource for prioritizing areas for nature based adaptation strategies, ecologically preferred erosion control strategies, and most recently, assessing potential nutrient reduction and TMDL credits.  Nine different strategies are proposed for erosion control.  Six of these strategies are consistent with nature-based or living shoreline practices; recognized by the Virginia law as a preferred alternative for erosion control. 

In the proposed fiscal year of funding we will run the SMM for the four Tidewater localities listed above.  Two of these localities have updates to the Comprehensive Plans pending (i.e. Richmond and Essex Counties).  The completion of the CCRMPs will enable them to adopt language into future Comprehensive Plans, as required by Virginia law.   

Finally, all these data will be presented in one or more tools within the ADAPTVA portal.  In addition, we will use support from this grant to begin expanding content under “Natural Resources” for ADAPTVA.  While living shorelines already have a large presence in the atlas, there has been a lot of interest in developing data that will assist localities, federal agencies, and state park managers to prioritize activities associated with shovel ready, on-the-ground restoration and enhancement projects that enhance coastal resiliency.  To begin, we will map locations within public lands where living shoreline design projects are possible.  This is a first step to creating a resource that can be easily integrated by any stakeholder into their active planning process through GIS.  The proposed product will use available data for public lands and all living shoreline suitability data that is available through the SMM.  The resulting shape file(s) will become available to Coastal GEMS and will be made available through ADAPTVA.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Marcia Berman, 804.684.7188;  

Project Status:

10/1/2017 - 9/30/2018; 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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