August 24, 2017

Warner, Kaine Announce More Than $2.6 Million In Federal Funds To Help Protect And Restore Coastal Communities

~ Funds will support local jobs and assist Virginia’s coastal conservation efforts ~

WASHINGTON— U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced today that Virginia is receiving $2,670,000 in federal funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help the Commonwealth administer its coastal management program. The funding comes as part of the National Coastal Zone Management Program, which serves as an important voluntary federal-state partnership that protects, restores, and responsibly develops our nation's coastal communities and resources by balancing economic development, coastal uses, and natural resource protection. This NOAA grant will help local communities in Virginia supplement the over $2,150,000 in existing coastal management funds currently being used for restoration efforts.

“This funding will assist Virginia’s effort to protect and invigorate our coastal communities and economies,” said the Senators. “Through this partnership, we will be able to restore estuaries that safeguard our shorelines while creating coastal jobs that help maintain the vitality of our fisheries and other industries.”   

These funds will provide continued assistance to the Virginia coastal management program to address many important coastal issues in the Commonwealth including habitat restoration and protection, land acquisition, regional land use and ocean planning, and stewardship programs and activities. The funding also supports ongoing coastal community planning, enhancements of working waterfronts, wetland mapping and permitting, beach and dunes protection, water quality management, and public outreach and education. 

In addition, the award also is supporting the following initiatives and local projects:

  • An update to Virginia Ecological Value Assessment (VEVA), a comprehensive integration of conservation datasets and priorities developed to guide land use and conservation planning at the local government and planning district levels.
  • Development of a Resiliency and Adaptation Feasibility Tool that allows users to assess coastal hazard risk, determine suitable sites for living shoreline demonstration projects, and develop conceptual plans for shore protection to improve community resilience to flooding and decrease the economic impacts of flooding. Virginia State Parks will be the pilot areas to test the tool.
  • A comprehensive economic assessment of the natural resources of the Lower Chickahominy Watershed.
  • Planning assistance offered by the eight coastal Planning District Commissions to local government units in the Commonwealth, including the development of guidance documents and policy tools to assist local communities in becoming more resilient to coastal hazards, more responsive to water quality requirements, and more economically sustainable.
  • Collaboration with regional partners to further efforts of regional native plant marketing campaigns in Northern Virginia, the central Rappahannock, the Northern Neck and Eastern Shore, and development of a new native plant guide for the Richmond area.