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

Project Task:VA Coastal Zone Management Program logo



Virginia Marine Resources Commission

Project Title:

Lynnhaven River Oyster Restoration

Project Description:

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement set a goal of restoring oyster populations in 10 tributaries by the year 2025. In Virginia, oyster restoration partners working together as the Virginia Interagency Oyster Team selected the following tributaries as the focus of these restoration efforts: the Lafayette, the Lynnhaven, the Piankatank, the Great Wicomico, and the Lower York. The Commonwealth of Virginia (through the Virginia Marine Resources Commission), NOAA, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Lynnhaven River Now, the Elizabeth River Project and other stakeholders are working together to restore oysters in these tributaries. The Hampton Roads Oyster Workgroup coordinates oyster restoration efforts in the Lafayette and Lynnhaven rivers In the Hampton Roads region.

In the Lynnhaven River, the Workgroup developed an estimate of currently restorable oyster habitat for the river and then, taking into consideration the established Bay-wide oyster restoration metrics, set a goal of restoring 60 additional acres.  Due to past restoration work, 56 acres of reefs in this tributary already meet the definition of restored. The Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), in combination with other partners, has been involved with the construction or planning of the majority of these acres. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Virginia Beach plan to restore 33 acres of reefs in the Lynnhaven.  The funds provided in this task will support VMRC in restoring a significant amount of the 60 acre goal.

In support of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission will contract out the construction of up to 10 acres of oyster reef for the purposes of ecological restoration in the Lynnhaven River using a combination of shell, crushed concrete, stone, or other materials as specified by NOAA. The reef will be constructed using the stripes and gap method used in the 2017 and 2018 substrate reef construction in the Lafayette River (by the Elizabeth River Project) and the 2016 substrate reef construction in the Piankatank River by the US Army Corps of Engineers. This reef will provide habitat for several fish and shellfish species in the Lynnhaven and provide water quality benefits through the oyster’s natural filtering practices.

CZM has provided VMRC funding for similar and successful oyster restoration efforts in numerous areas throughout Virginia.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Andrew Button, 757.247.2121,

Project Status:

10/1/18 - 12/31/19; Project Pending

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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