University of Virginia - Institute for Environmental Negotiation
Virginia Coastal Needs Assessment & Strategy (Section 309)
Project Description as Proposed:
The Institute for Environmental Negotiation will analyze regulatory and non-regulatory programs in Virginia in the topic areas identified in Section 309 of the Coastal Zone Management Act. This work will then be used to update the Coastal Needs Assessment and Strategy for the Virginia CZM Program covering federal FY 2011- 2015. Information will be collected and analyzed for the nine coastal enhancement areas including: wetlands, public access, cumulative and secondary impacts, ocean resources, coastal hazards, marine debris, aquaculture, special area management planning, and energy and government facility siting. The Scope of the analysis will be consistent with NOAA’s guidance issued in June 2009.
IEN will coordinate this entire project through the Virginia CZM Program staff and the Coastal Policy Team. IEN will be responsible for preparing the draft and final Coastal Needs Assessment and assisting with the beginning stages of Strategy development. To accomplish this, IEN will work with CZM staff to develop ranking criteria for use by the Coastal Policy Team to identify the areas of highest priority. IEN will then convene focus group meetings dedicated to discussions on each of the high priority areas. The purpose of these focus groups is to bring together the people in the Commonwealth working with the issue at hand and to determine what role the Virginia CZM Program could fill to further efforts in these areas. These discussions are intended to be topic-based strategic planning sessions, and not related to specific grant projects, recipients of funds or funding amounts. Those more detailed discussions will be coordinated by CZM staff outside the scope of this grant. IEN will provide written summaries of each of these focus group meetings to CZM staff.
Tanya Denckla Cobb, 434.924.1855; firstname.lastname@example.org
10/1/09 - 9/30/10; Project Completed
Final Product Received:
Project Summary Provided by Grantee:
The IEN worked closely with the Coastal Policy Team (CPT), coastal experts and Virginia Coastal Program staff to: 1) assess progress made since 2005 in nine enhancement areas in Virginia’s coastal zone, and 2) identify needs and priorities for Virginia Coastal Program focus in the next five years. The results of this work are included in: Virginia Coastal Program Management, Coastal 309 Needs Assessment, 2009.
The assessment reports onnine areas of work in Virginia’s coastal zone: wetlands, coastal hazards, public access, marine debris, cumulative and secondary impacts, special area management plans, ocean resources, energy and government facility siting and aquaculture. Based on an in-depth analysis and discussions, the Coastal Policy Team and coastal experts agreed to pursue several major priority strategies in the next five years.
The Coastal-oriented strategy will include six specific strategies: 1) Seaside SAMP; 2) CSI-Working Waterfront; 3)CSI-Shorelines (including living shorelines, shoreline management planning, and sea level rise adaptation); 4) CSI-Planning (including blue-green infrastructure and water quality regulations) and Policies for On-site Sewage Disposal Systems; 5) Hazards-Sea Level Rise and 6) Wetlands Tracking for a project of special merit. The Ocean-oriented strategy will address: Marine spatial planning, including the impacts of offshore energy development; and Marine debris. The assessment includes detailed descriptions of these strategies, which will be completed by the work groups of the Virginia Coastal Program and CPT.
Process for Conducting the Assessment
To begin the five-year assessment, IEN and CZM staff held a conference call October 1, 2009 to familiarize IEN staff with the Section 309 Assessment enhancement areas, and to identify the IEN and CZM staff persons who would serve as enhancement area leads.
From October 2009 to December 2009, IEN staff interviewed about 50 experts in a variety of coastal and marine-related fields in order to gather the information requested by NOAA in its Section 309 Guidance form.
IEN staff sent preliminary drafts of Section 309 Assessment December 3, 2010 for review and feedback by research contacts and CZM enhancement area leads, and incorporated their feedback into the first draft of the assessment
IEN staff submitted the first draft of the assessment (the "Draft 309 Assessment" final product) January 5, 2010, which was reviewed by CZM staff.
IEN staff incorporated feedback on the Draft 309 Assessment into the Revised Draft 309 Assessment, which was sent to the Coastal Policy Team on February 8, 2010, to help them prepare for the February 17, 2010 meeting.
IEN staff facilitated and produced meeting agendas for the Coastal Policy Team meeting February 17, 2010. IEN presented summaries of its enhancement area research findings at this meeting, and then facilitated discussion of challenges, needs and possible priorities for each topic. The CPT ranked its priorities in a formal voting process. In discussing the outcomes of this vote, the CPT realized that, unlike in previous assessments, virtually every assessment area now warrants priority attention. The CPT decided it would approach the next five years by pursuing two major priorities of an Ocean Strategy and a Bay Strategy.
IEN staff facilitated two focus group meetings to discuss specific strategies for the next five years. On March 24, 2010, 17 coastal staff and experts met to discuss the Ocean Strategy. On March 31, 2010, 24 coastal staff and experts met to discuss the Coastal Strategy. IEN sent its notes from these focus group meetings to the Coastal Program on April 19,
IEN received final comments and incorporated these into a final draft, which it delivered to the Coastal Program on May 10, 2010.
It was decided that for efficiency and timeliness, the CZM staff would complete the assessment and draft the priority strategies discussed during the focus group and strategy work group meetings in collaboration with the strategy work group members and the CPT. Therefore, final products 4 & 5 described in this task will be completed by CZM staff and included and detailed in Task 1.
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