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

Project Task:VA CZM logo



George Mason University

Project Title:

Economic Costs and Benefits of Land Conservations and Natural Resource Protection in the Lower Chickahominy River Watershed

Project Description:

It is sometimes assumed that communities must make a choice between land and natural resource protection and economic activity and related government revenues. However, public understanding and an increasing body of professional and scientific literature suggests that preserving land can provide economic and societal benefits. The watershed area of the Lower Chickahominy River offers pristine natural landscapes, preserves historically important sites, and supports key regional industries. However, local governments in the Commonwealth of Virginia continue to struggle with demands for public services and the costs of providing those services, and thus there are recurring questions of the economic and fiscal value of preserved and/or protected lands in the LCR watershed. This project will explore these economic issues and provide data and analysis to support the mission of the Coastal Zone Management Program.

The project will focus on two key elements: 1) an economic impact analysis, and 2) a fiscal impact analysis.

The research team for this project will be led by Dr. Terry Clower (GMU) and Dr. Dean Bellas (Urban Analytics), who have a combined experience of more than 45 years in analyzing the economic policy implications of land development and urban planning in urban, suburban and rural regions of the United States.  Their research projects have included studies in 18 states plus the District of Columbia (Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin).

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Dr. Terry Clower, 703.993.8419;

Project Status:

1/15/2018 - 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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