Virginia Department of Environmental Quality - Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program Subcontract TBD
Eastern Shore Land Acquisition
Project Description as Proposed:
Since 1991 the Virginia CZM Program has been concerned about the loss of migratory bird stopover habitat at the tip of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Studies funded by the Coastal Program have shown that this area supports huge numbers of songbirds, raptors 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 this area as having "Extremely High" and “Imperative” conservation opportunity. The Eastern Shore as a region has the highest concentration of ecologically high priority areas at risk in Virginia’s 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 buy land for conservation purposes.
Land acquisition or easements 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. This area falls within the southern tip “critical habitat” area defined by the VA CZM Program funded research conducted in 1990-1992. FY’ 07 and ’08 funds, along with the $200,000 in proceeds from the May 2008 James Taylor benefit concert, were used for a 26 acre acquisition that is now incorporated into Kiptopeke State Park.
For an acquisition using FY 2009 and 2010 funds, the Virginia CZM Program will rely on guidance from the “Southern Tip Partners,” an interagency group formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by agency heads, who are collaboratively prioritizing additional parcels for acquisition of migratory bird habitat on the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula (i.e. Virginia’s Eastern Shore). About 26 parcels have been identified that together comprise about 2,000 acres. FY 2009 and 2010 funds will be targeted toward a single parcel. Three options were identified at the May 6, 2010 Southern Tip partners’ meeting: 1) the Davis tract (subject of a FY10 CELCP application that was not funded but which will be purchased, at least in part with AEP funds derived from a permit violation); 2) the Heath Tract (50 acres adjacent to some of the recents seaside acquisitions); and 3) small lots for sale adjacent to the Davis Tract on the bayside that are slated for housing developments. Only lands with sufficient uplands to allow for sea level rise will be considered for acquisition.
Laura McKay, 804.698.4323; Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov
10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
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