Virginia CZM Program Coastal Needs Assessment and Strategies: FY2016-2020

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Download ENTIRE Coastal Needs Assessment and ALL FINAL Strategies (PDF) -  This report also includes a Summary of Accomplishments of FY 2011-2014 Section 309 Efforts (projects conducted October 1, 2011-September 30, 2015).  

The Table of Contents in this report includes a quick link to the strategies.  A brief description of each of the strategies and a link to a PDF of each of these strategies is also provided below:

Overview of Strategies

Ocean Management - 
Ocean Resources Strategy (PDF)
The goals of this five year strategy are: 1) to develop specific interjurisdictional agreements to improve management of regional issues (e.g. protecting whale migration corridors while accommodating increased shipping traffic, preserving commercial and recreational fishing opportunities while allowing for offshore energy development - see Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) website for more details on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body. Specific region-wide issues and specific geographic areas will be determined by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body and included in a 2016 Ocean Action Plan, and 2) to adopt specific policies to reduce marine debris building on Virginia's Marine Debris Reduction Plan.   

Coastal Hazards - 
Coastal Hazards Strategy 
This strategy will build on the accomplishments of CZM initiatives to promote Living Shorelines and help communities adapt to climate change and sea level rise. Addressing Coastal Hazards issues and improving coastal resilience has been identified as a national priority by NOAA and is one of two Section 309 areas open for funding as a nationally competitive Project of Special Merit.  

Cumulative and Secondary Impacts of Growth and Development (CSI) - 
Cumulative and Secondary Impacts - Chickahominy River 
Cumulative and Secondary Impacts - Working Waterfronts (PDF)
The goals of this five-year strategy are to: 1) align local planning initiatives with state conservation priorities, focusing on the value of protected lands, particularly as they allow for recreation and eco-tourism. The strategy will investigate development of policies to protect the ecological and economic resources of the lower Chickahominy Watershed and document the economic values of conserved lands within the coastal zone in order to support protection efforts, and address local government concerns; and, 2) implement elements of the newly developed Virginia Working Waterfronts Plan focused on protecting the viability of these waterfronts that retain local, traditional culture and generate significant economic value. 

Background - FY2016 - 2020 Coastal Needa and Assessment and Strategies Development 
The Virginia CZM Program followed new Section 309 Guidance issued by NOAA (January 2013) to conduct Virginia's 2016-2020 Coastal Needs Assessment and to develop strategies for the program's issues of highest priority. 

The Virginia CZM Program began its 2016 - 2020 Coastal Zone Enhancement Process in fall of 2014 by distributing to its partners a Virginia Coastal Needs Assessment and Prioritization Survey.  The results of this survey were shared at the December 2014 Virginia Coastal Partners Workshop, which included attendees from regional, local and state agencies, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, marine-related businesses, and individuals who help manage and protect Virginia's coastal resources.  During the course of the workshop, attendees heard presentations on critical or evolving coastal resource management issues, and helped prioritize which areas should be considered the highest priorities for the Virginia CZM Program and the focus of Coastal Enhancement (Section 309) strategies for the coming 2016-2020 cycle. 

2015 Assessment Areas:

  • Coastal Public Access Assessment 
  • Coastal Hazards Assessment 
  • Coastal Wetlands Assessment
  • Coastal Cumulative and Secondary Impacts Assessment
  • Special Area Management Planning Assessment 
  • Aquaculture Assessment 
  • Energy and Government Facility Siting Assessment 
  • Ocean Resources Assessment
  • Marine Debris Assessment 
Virginia CZM Program staff then presented recommendations to the Virginia Coastal Policy Team in February 2015.

The CPT approved staff recommendations to develop strategies in the following three "High Priority" areas: 
  • Ocean Management
  • Coastal Hazards
  • Cumulative and Secondary Impacts of Coastal Development.

Virginia CZM Program staff submitted a final draft of the 2016-1020 Virginia Coastal Needs Assessment and Strategy to NOAA for approval.  NOAA approval was received in March 2016.  

Virginia CZM Program logo

Strategy Contacts

Ocean Management
Laura McKay, (804) 698-4320 or

Coastal Hazards (Resiliency)
Shep Moon, (804) 698-4527 or

Cumulative and Secondary Impacts of Growth and Development (CSI)
Jefferson Flood, (804) 698-4151 or

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

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