Virginia Department of Environmental Quality - Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program
Eastern Shore Land Conservation
Project Description as Proposed:
Since 1991 the Virginia CZM Program has been concerned about the loss of migratory bird stopover habitat on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Studies funded by the Virginia CZM Program have shown that this area supports huge numbers of songbirds, raptors, shorebirds and other birds as they stop to rest and feed during their southward migration to Central and South America each fall. Virginia's CELCP Plan shows the southern tip, bayside and seaside of the Eastern Shore as having "Outstanding" and “Very High” ecological value (the two top tiers of Virginia’s 5 tiered scale). In fact this area has the largest, contiguous outstanding and very high value areas in Virginia’s entire coastal zone. The Eastern Shore currently has high water quality that also supports a $50 million per year clam farming industry. It is imperative to maintain the high ecological quality of this region. Development pressures in this area had increased until the recent recession. Now land values are becoming more affordable making this an excellent time to protect land for conservation purposes.
Land conservation (through easements or other interests) and restoration remain the best protection tool we have. FY ’03, FY ’04, FY ‘05 and FY’06 funds were used to purchase percentages of the Bull tract which is just south of the Dept. of Game Inland Fisheries “GATR” tract and east of route 13. FY ’07 and ’08 funds were used to purchase the 26 acre Taylor tract within Kiptopeke State Park. FY ’09 funds were reprogrammed to Seaside Restoration of Eelgrass and Bay Scallops. FY ’10 and FY’11 funds will be allocated to either conservation easements or habitat restoration with guidance from the “Southern Tip Partners,” an interagency group formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by agency heads. The Southern Tip Partners collaboratively prioritize parcels for protection of migratory bird habitat on the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula (i.e. Virginia’s Eastern Shore). It is not yet certain which property owners may be amenable to conservation easements. Habitat restoration projects, in conjunction with the CZM Program’s “Plant ES Natives” campaign, could be carried out on a variety of recently acquired public lands on the Eastern Shore.
Laura McKay, 804.698.4323; Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov
10/1/2011 - 9/30/2012
Final Product Received:
Project Summary Provided by Grantee:
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: Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov
A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov