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Virginia CZM Program: 2016 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA CZM logo



Northern Neck Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Northern Neck Planning District Commission Technical Assistance

Project Description:

The NNPDC FY16 environmental work program will consist of nine work tasks:

1) NNPDC staff will provide coastal management support and GIS analysis of land development proposals, land conversion and land use plans as well as maps of wetlands, aerial photographs, elevation and/or topographic features.

2) NNPDC staff will support local planning, staff education, training and coordination through quarterly Coastal Managers (Land Use Administrators) Meetings and four local government training sessions. Four training sessions for local county staff will be targeted to assist localities in better managing coastal resources and improving water quality, and may be conducted by Federal, State or Not for Profit entities.

3) The NNPDC will produce a water trail map for Richmond County, which will bring the total number of trails in Richmond County to three.

4) NNPDC staff will manage the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Program for home elevations through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency with active projects in Northumberland, Richmond, and Lancaster Counties.  The NNPDC assists homeowners to mitigate future storm damage for homes in low-lying or flood-prone areas. This program enhances resiliency for small coastal communities in the Northern Neck.  

5) NNPDC staffs the Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority (NNCBPAA), works with property owners interested in donating land, and in placing conservation easements on property.  NNPDC will conduct a marketing campaign to reach out to prospective property owners to inform them of the benefits of conservation easements and land donation.  NNCBPAA will hold regular meetings with members to discuss ongoing efforts to improve PA in the Northern Neck.

6) NNPDC staff will participate in Watermen’s Heritage Tourism Training to assist watermen in augmenting their seafood business with on-water heritage and eco-tours of the region.  The Virginia program was developed as a partnership with the NNPDC in 2012 and is now operated by Rappahannock Community College in collaboration with Chesapeake Environmental Communications, Inc.  NNPDC staff has participated in all trainings either in person, or virtually, to encourage watermen to expand their business to include an on-water tourism component.

7) NNPDC staff participates on the Management Team of the Virginia Oyster Trail to develop vibrant and resilient coastal economies.  NNPDC is serving as fiscal agent for an Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Grant for implementation of the Virginia Oyster Trail.  NNPDC staff assists the trail by enrolling businesses, and delivering technical assistance to local businesses to increase connectivity and sustainability among the coastal regions of Virginia.

8) The NNPDC operates and staffs an Assign-a-Highway Program, whereby litter is gathered and removed from highways and waterfronts by individuals and teams adjudicated to community service. NNPDC staff participates in the Marine Debris Summit at VIMS.

9) NNPDC staff will create a report that highlight the benefits that were accrued during the grant period based on previous VACZM Grants.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

John Bateman, 804.313.8478,

Project Status:

10/1/16 - 9/30/17; Project Completed

Final Product:

Northern Neck Planning District Commission VA Coastal Zone Management Program Technical Assistance Grant FY 16, Task 45 Final Report (PDF)

Project Summary:

NNPDC staff provided coastal management support to local governments, planning commissions, local planning staff, Northern Neck Land Conservancy and the Northern Neck Master Gardeners Shoreline Evaluation Program through environmental mapping services, environmental assessment review, intergovernmental review and GIS analysis to assess coastal issues.  NNPDC staff coordinated the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan update in collaboration with VDEM and FEMA.  A series of 3 meetings helped to complete a comprehensive risk assessment and develop a mitigation strategy for a myriad of hazards our region faces.  Other support included the creation of maps and other geographical analysis for the Towns of Montross, White Stone and Warsaw, Richmond County, the Northern Neck Land Conservancy and the Northern Neck Master Gardeners Shoreline Evaluation Program. 

NNPDC staff held four local planning, training and coordination events that focused on coastal community resiliency, coastal hazard mitigation, coastal resource management and water quality.  Coordination and training events were attended by various stakeholders including local planning and land use staff, regional planning staff and were conducted by Federal, State and Not for Profit entities. 

NNPDC staff continued to expand the Northern Neck’s water trail network by creating an additional water trail in Richmond County along Totuskey Creek.  The Totuskey Creek Water Trail traverses an historic tributary of the Rappahannock River and features its indigenous cultural landscape, diverse and unique flora and fauna, and excellent recreational fishing.  As with all of the Northern Neck Water Trails, the Totuskey Creek Water Trail connects to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. 

NNPDC staff assisted Lancaster and Northumberland Counties in the administration of several home elevations in partnership with VDEM and FEMA.  NNPDC staff worked with VDEM and FEMA to submit applications for the elevation of 13 homes, 2 of which were funded in 2017. 

NNPDC staff worked to secure a land donation to the Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority.  The donation, located in Lancaster County and situated along Little Oyster Creek, has the potential to provide prime public access to the lower Rappahannock and provides the opportunity to conserve wetlands. 

NNPDC staff continued with the planning of the Watermen’s Heritage Tourism Training Program.  A presentation was held in October of 2017 and two additional workshops were scheduled for 2018.  NNPDC staff participated in the implementation of the Virginia Oyster Trail and attended two Management Team Meetings in 2017.  Discussions centered on sustainability and the positive impacts the marketing of the Trail was having on Virginia’s Oyster industry. 

NNPDC staff continued to administer and promote the Assign-a-Highway Program.  The program participated in several special events, including a waterway clean-up event, and collected greater than 15 tons of liter. 

NNPDC staff tracked measurable benefits accrued from previous grant products that have served as a foundation for additional projects.  Some of those benefits include a plan to update the Northern Neck Water Trail Network for greater inclusion of the region’s Indigenous Cultural Landscape in the interpretive narrative of the trails.  Another benefit has been the genesis of a collaboration between the Eastern Shore and the Middle Peninsula to create a Virginia Coastal Water Trail Network along with a mobile platform with geolocation functionality.  Other benefits include the establishment of a Living Shoreline Initiative and the plans to establish a complementary stakeholder group to help promote the use of living shorelines.  Additional benefits include an article in The Local Scoop magazine titled “Rivers, Forests, Wildlife” which emphasizes the region’s natural resources as one of its greatest assets.  The article can be found at

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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