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Virginia CZM Program: 2018 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA Coastal Zone Management Program logo



Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Analyzing the Vulnerability of Communities to Sea Level Rise Using Building Elevation and Other Datasets

Project Description:

Recurrent flooding and sea level rise have been identified as two of the most significant coastal hazards for the Hampton Roads region and the rest of coastal Virginia. While much work has been done to identify areas vulnerable to flooding or sea level rise, key data and information gaps still exist that limit the utility and accuracy of local adaptation and hazard mitigation plans. Specifically, the regional hazard mitigation plan does not sufficiently address the potential impacts of sea level rise on private property or critical infrastructure. The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission proposes to address this deficiency through the development of first floor elevation data and the analysis of the vulnerability of residential properties and critical infrastructure to flooding caused by sea level rise and storm surge. This project requires three main datasets: first floor elevations, scenarios of sea level rise and storm surge, and critical infrastructure. The HRPDC has access to the latter two datasets. This proposal directly supports the current Section 309 Coastal Hazards Strategy for community resiliency and the priority topic of building natural and community resiliency as selected by the Coastal Policy Team.

This project will build on the previous year’s effort to further acquire, develop, enhance, and utilize first floor elevation data for residential structures in Hampton Roads to assess local and regional vulnerability to coastal hazards such as sea level rise, tidal flooding, and storm surge. Specifically, the project will continue to improve the methodology piloted in Year 1 while also supporting coordination between the HRPDC and other entities, such as local governments, the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, to develop complementary datasets.

In addition to continuing to work on the first floor elevation data, this project will also assess techniques for performing coastal hazard vulnerability assessment. This will be conducted with the goal of identifying and/or developing a methodology or technique that can be used by local governments for planning purposes and by the region for the next iteration of the regional all-hazards mitigation plan. This will be tested in the current project, with the goal of conducting a regional assessment in Year 3.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Benjamin McFarlane, 757.420.8300,

Project Status:

10/1/18 - 9/30/19; 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 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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