Virginia CZM Program Special Area Management Plans
The Virginia CZM Program has been using a special coastal zone management approach called "special area management planning" to help solve local problems with local partners in special areas in Virginia's coastal zone. SAMPS were completed in the the Southern Watersheds of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, and in Northampton County and are currently being implemented in the Dragon Run watershed and on the Seaside of Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Seaside Special Area Management Plan (current project)
Dragon Run Watershed Special Area Management Plan (completed)
Northampton County Special Area Management Plan (completed)
Southern Watersheds Area Management Plan (SWAMP) - Chesapeake and Virginia Beach (completed)
Seaside Special Area Management Plan
2006 - 2010 Seaside SAMP Effort:
Virginia CZM Program 2006 - 2010 309 Strategy for the Seaside SAMP (PDF)
In 1990 the Virginia CZM Program initiated a Northampton County Special Area Management Plan. While much was accomplished, zoning to protect sensitive natural areas was never adopted. In 2002 the Virginia CZM Program initiated the Virginia Seaside Heritage Program. The goals of that program are to restore the coastal habitats of the seaside of Virginia’s Eastern Shore and to promote, in a sustainable fashion, economic activities such as ecotourism and aquaculture. The Seaside Heritage Program was funded through Section 306/306A of the CZMA.
As the Virginia CZM Program moved beyond habitat restoration, ecotourism and aquaculture into a management plan for the seaside, the Seaside Heritage Program activities were expanded into traditional SAMP activities; i.e. the development of new enforceable policies that would serve to protect the program's investments on the seaside.
Grant projects addressing this strategy:
2011 - 2015 Seaside SAMP Effort:
Virginia CZM Program 2011 - 2015 309 Strategy for the Seaside SAMP (PDF)
The Seaside SAMP Strategy will develop, in essence, a Marine Spatial Plan for the Seaside’s barrier island lagoon system. This is an 80 mile long, 1-5 mile wide swath of shallow water that abounds with birds, finfish, shellfish and once again, underwater grasses. The area is renowned for its clam growing industry which is now valued at about $50 million per year. It’s also increasingly recognized for its ecotourism value due to the vast number of birds and other fascinating sights as well as its allure for kayakers.
The program change will require adoption by the Marine Resources Commission of a new approach to leasing state-owned bottom for shellfish cultivation, for providing more suitable areas for public shell fishing and for preserving areas for habitat protection and recreational uses. The current system of hard, immovable boundaries has been in place since the late 1800’s and now that new uses have emerged and suitability of areas for various uses has shifted, we need to adopt a more dynamic, flexible system that can allow use boundaries to shift as the environment changes and human needs and uses change.
Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan
Dragon Run Special Area Management Program Successes Fact Sheet - June 2012 (pdf)
2006 - 2010 Dragon Run SAMP Effort:
Download Virginia CZM Program 2006 - 2010 309 Strategy for the Dragon Run SAMP
Initiated in 2001, the SAMP program has played an integral role in the development of policy in the Dragon Run Watershed. Three of the four counties in the watershed adopted the Dragon Run Watershed Management Plan (WMP) as an addendum to their comprehensive plans. The plan includes four recommendations on how each county can improve protection of the Dragon Run and preserve the watershed’s cultural, historic, and natural character, while preserving property rights and the watershed’s traditional uses (e.g. forestry, farming, recreation). By pursuing several of the action recommendations contained in the WMP, this strategy focuses on three areas of implementation: new zoning and comprehensive plans, sustainable economic development practices, and public access/conservation lands management.
List of SAMP Projects and Funding - 1986-2005 (under Sections 306, 306A and 309) (pdf)
Dragon Run SAMP website - maintained by the Middle Peninsula PDC
Virginia CZM Program grant projects addressing this strategy:
Northampton County Special Area Management Plan
Summary of Projects and Funding - 1990 - 2003 (under Sections 306, 306A and 309)
Southern Watersheds Special Area Management Plan (SWAMP)
List of SAMP Projects and Funding - 1992-2002 (under Sections 306, 306A and 309) (pdf)
SWAMP Fact Sheet - prepared by the Hampton Roads PDC - Fall 2005 - A detailed history and description of SWAMP initiatives
For comments or questions concerning this program's web pages, contact the Virginia Witmer.
This website is provided by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program through a federal Coastal Zone Management Act grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce.