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

Project Task:VA CZM logo



Richmond Regional Planning District Commission 

Project Title:

Chickahominy Resources Steering Committee 

Project Description:

Previous studies, mapping and ecological modeling have indicated that the lower Chickahominy River watershed boasts significant ecological resources.Meanwhile the watershed is seeing increased pressure from the nearby urban areas of Richmond and Williamsburg for land conversion and development into residential and commercial areas. The purpose of the Cumulative and Secondary Impacts: Leveraging Economic Benefits of the Natural Resources of the Lower Chickahominy strategy (Project) seeks to update aging ecological data for the area, value conservation in part through an economic study, and ultimately develop policy related to land conservation in the watershed.

The first year of this project included mapping and the solicitation of a contractor to perform an economic study in the watershed. In addition, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation – Division of Natural Heritage (DCR-NH) conducted field work during this first year of the grant to update outdated water quality and species GIS data in the study area.These data will be used to update the Coastal Virginia Ecological Value Assessment (VEVA) model.The VEVA data will be used by the steering committee to map and analyze the ecological value of land and water in the study area; the VEVA will be a valuable resource when considering policy options in the latter years of this strategy.

The second year of this project will include an economic study of conservation in the lower Chickahominy watershed.This economic study will provide valuable information to steering committee members, local leaders, and other stakeholders about the financial implications to local governments and business communities of land conservation, especially as it relates to recreation and eco-tourism.This information will be vital in forming policy and planning recommendations during the subsequent years of this strategy.

In addition to the contractor-led economic study during the second year, RRPDC staff will continue to engage the project steering committee.RRPDC staff will facilitate meetings of the economic study contractor and steering committee throughout the year.RRPDC staff will also conduct mapping and research as requested by the steering committee.The mapping, research, and contractor-produced economic study will lay the groundwork for policy development during the final years of this strategy. 

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Barbara Jacocks, 804.323.2033 ext. 103;  

Project Status:

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

Final Product:

Final Report: Leveraging Economic Benefits of the Natural Reosources of the Lower Chickahominy (PDF)  

Project Summary:

Mapping and Data Gathering of Conservation and Economic Resources – RRPDC staff updated GIS data and maps for the study area of various themes including land conservation, water quality, recreation, etc.  As part of the update process, RRPDC staff created a conserved land and point of interest database for the study area.

Facilitation of Steering Committee and Economic Study Contractor – RRPDC staff hosted a meeting of the Economic Study contractor team and the project steering committee on January 29, 2018.  As a follow-up to this January meeting, RRPDC staff facilitated the committee in the creation of a conserved land dependent business list for the study area.

RRPDC staff maintained communication with the project steering committee and the study contractor team throughout the year.  Other work tasks associated with this product included a tour of the study area for the Economic Study contractor team, coordination with local staff on data and information needs, and GIS analysis necessary for the Economic Study.

Research and Development of Educational Resources for Future Policy Discussion – RRPDC staff developed thorough listings of plans and studies related to this project.  Each listing entry includes a summary of the report or study identified and key points relevant to the Lower Chickahominy Study.  RRPDC staff have also completed background research for policy options discussed with the project Steering Committee.  Information summarized as part of the research includes: policy history, examples of success and/or failure for each policy, studies or plans completed related to each policy, etc. 

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:

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to or











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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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