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Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework

In October 2020, the Commonwealth of Virginia published the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework (Framework), which presents the Commonwealth's strategy for implementing coastal protection and adaptation measures to increase the flood resilience of coastal communities and economies. The Framework presents the core principles of the Commonwealth's approach to coastal adaptation and protection and describes how Virginia will develop and implement its first Coastal Resilience Master Plan (Master Plan) by the end of 2021.

Related Organizations: State of Virginia

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Citizen Science: Mapping Urban Heat Islands in Richmond, Virginia

The urban heat island mapping project in Richmond, Virginia is a collaborative project that brings community members together to collect temperature variation data in order to design community-scale adaptation plans. Richmond is a highly populated city that has encountered increased urban heat island effect in recent years. While current technology such as satellites can provide city-scale urban heat data, a more detailed, block-by-block examination of temperature variation in each community has to be studied to understand which communities are most vulnerable to the extreme heat. "Citizen-scientists" were gathered to help measure temperatures in their own city, and related human activities or land use. The citizen-scientists included students from the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University; the Virginia Academy of Science; the City of Richmond’s Sustainability Office; and Groundwork RVA, a nonprofit focused on empowering local young people in the communities.  

Related Organizations: City of Richmond, Virginia, Groundwork RVA

Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting

 

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Virginia SB 320 Community Flood Preparedness Fund

April 22, 2020

In 2020, Virginia created the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund (Virginia Code §§ 10. 1-603. 24 and 10. 1-603. 25). Through this law, the state established a low-interest revolving loan fund to help local governments and communities adapt to increasing coastal and inland flooding from multiple, different sources, including sea-level rise and precipitation. The purpose of the fund is to enhance the state’s overall coastal resilience by funding flood prevention and mitigation projects, prioritizing projects in low-income areas and that are designed with nature-based solutions.

Related Organizations: State of Virginia

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Virginia Beach Sea Level Wise Adaptation Strategy

March 31, 2020

The City of Virginia Beach, Virginia Sea Level Wise Adaptation Strategy is designed to help guide the city’s steps to become more resilient and adapt to sea level rise and flooding by gradually implementing actions through a watershed-based approach. Virginia Beach consists of four watersheds, both inland and coastal, that are characterized by unique physical properties and land-use patterns and affected by five distinct types of flooding - high tide, wind tide, storm surge, rainfall/compounding, and groundwater flooding.

Related Organizations: City of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Georgetown Climate Center

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project

The Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP) was established through funding from the U.S. Government’s Office of Economic Opportunity in the 1960s. The Project helps low-income rural communities in the mid-Atlantic and the Southeastern U.S. obtain water and wastewater infrastructure for running water, indoor plumbing, and wastewater treatment. Water utilities in these rural areas often lack funding to provide such infrastructure. Households that are not supplied with drinking water tend to rely on wells and septic tanks, which can get contaminated by pollution from agricultural activity and the lack of suitable wastewater treatment. SERCAP assists both individuals and municipalities, and its services include installing infrastructure, providing financing and loans, and offering technical support. In addition to providing services related to water, SERCAP also provides support on housing issues.

Resource Category: Organizations

 

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Virginia Beach Sea Level Rise Policy Response Report

December 2019

In 2019, the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia released its Sea Level Rise Policy Response Report which identifies climate adaptation strategies, objectives, and potential legal and policy actions it could adopt to reduce Virginia Beach’s short- and long-term flood risk. The flood issues in Virginia Beach are multifaceted and the City is considering a range of adaptation responses — from engineering and planning to regulations and market-based tools — with the aim of pursuing a long-term, comprehensive approach.

Related Organizations: City of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Georgetown Climate Center

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Norfolk Special Service District Policy for Flood Protection

June 11, 2019

In June 2019, the Norfolk City Council adopted a policy authorizing the creation of Special Service Districts (SSD) to support implementation of local flood risk reduction and water quality improvement projects in the City of Norfolk, Virginia. SSDs enable a group of residents to agree to pay a tax to finance additional services in a particular neighborhood. The Norfolk policy allows SSD funding to be used to pay for flood mitigation, dredging, water quality improvements, and coastal protection projects.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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City of Virginia Beach - Nature-Based Coastal Flood Mitigation Strategies

May 16, 2019

The City of Virginia Beach, Virginia commissioned this study to identify and assess opportunities for including natural and nature-based coastal flood mitigation strategies among the measures that the City can adopt to increase resilience and decrease flood risk in Virginia Beach. The study evaluated a range of natural and nature-based features (NNBF) - including beach nourishment and dune enhancement, marsh creation and restoration, living shorelines, and more - for feasibility given the unique flooding issues in the four different watersheds of the region.

Related Organizations: City of Virginia Beach, Virginia

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Virginia Beach Public Works Design Standards Manual - Sea Level Rise and Precipitation Adjustments for Stormwater Management Design

May 2019

In 2019, the City of Virginia Beach updated its Public Works Design Standards Manual (Manual) to account for climate change impacts in drainage system design requirements that help control stormwater runoff. The Manual provides minimum design standards for all City public works projects within City rights-of-way, easements, and City-owned properties (e. g. , roadway, drainage, and traffic signal design standards). Section 8 of the Manual addresses stormwater management, and unlike most of the rest of the Manual, its standards apply to all private projects as well as City construction projects relating to stormwater management.

Related Organizations: City of Virginia Beach, Virginia

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Virginia S 265: Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection

June 22, 2018

On June 22, 2018, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed Senate Bill 265 creating a new cabinet-level position to address coastal adaptation and protection in Virginia. The bill states that the Special Assistant to the governor will be responsible for leading statewide efforts in response to coastal flooding; working to initiate economic development opportunities associated with adaptation; and fostering coordination throughout the Commonwealth, especially in Hampton Roads, a coastal region of the state that is most vulnerable to sea level rise and land subsidence.

Related Organizations: State of Virginia

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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