Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission
Rural Chesapeake Bay/Seaside of Virginia Working Waterfront Coalition
Project Description as Proposed:
This project proposes to expand and complement the current Working Waterfront 309 strategy through projects that help develop the markets needed to ensure sustainability of working waterfronts and related industries.
For many Virginia rural coastal communities, there is a strong need to maximize the potential of the waterfront as a driver for economic vitality. However, market forces, changing demographics, and increasing tax burdens on waterfront properties are increasingly driving a transition of waterfront properties toward residential or recreational uses. In addition, regulatory changes affecting marine fisheries management are impacting water dependent industries and working waterfronts. If access to the waterfront is limited or severed, commercial and recreational fishermen, researchers, and other water-dependent businesses will have fewer options to successfully make a living from the tidal waters of the Commonwealth, including the Seaside on the Eastern shore. As a result, many rural Chesapeake Bay and Seaside communities are challenged to maintain their identity and are shifting away from water-dependent employment, causing economic and cultural changes that can limit economic diversification opportunities and fundamentally alter the nature of the communities themselves. These challenges are particularly acute inboth rural Chesapeake Bay and Seasidecoastal communities. In response, Accomack-Northampton PDC, Northern Neck PDC Middle Peninsula PDC, Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority, Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority and Marine Advisory Services at VIMS collectively propose to form a Rural Chesapeake Bay-Seaside Working Waterfront Coalition. The Coalition partners recognize that there is a growing body of knowledge and community-level competencies in how to practically manage these challenges while maintaining working waterfronts, especially in coastal communities. This body of knowledge needs to be transferred and applied to the rural coastal Chesapeake Bay and Seaside working waterfront communities.
The Coalition will establish three working waterfront nodes based on local community need. These nodes will serve as working waterfront service centers: Eastern Shore, Northern Neck and the Middle Peninsula. Marine Advisory Services will serve as the project scientific and advisory centerpiece. Marine Advisory Services will coordinate an initial project kickoff meeting to educate and synchronize project partners concerning the Working Waterfront 309 project and the Rural Chesapeake Bay-Seaside Working Waterfront Coalition. A project steering committee comprised of key working waterfront representatives will be formed and will attend project synchronized meetings called by Marine Advisory Service staff. These meetings will occur as needed.
Each PDC’s in partnership with each PAA will take the lead and convene a series of local round table meetings to discuss and recommend tools needed to address taxing concerns, reduce regulatory barriers, and preserve working waterfront cultural identity. As a foundation to start the discussion, the Coalition will use Delegate Morgan’s 2011 session HB 2263 Commercial fisheries; provides for state and local tax, regulatory relief, and preservation there of bill as a platform for dialog.
Each PDC will produce a working waterfront report on the findings of local need. Marine Advisory Services will convene a final meeting(s) of the project steering committee to discuss and seek agreement on final recommendations to be promoted by the Coalition. The final product will be a report including draft legislation and other recommended approaches designed to protect coastal jobs and sustain the industry.
Membership for each node of the coalition will be determined by a process politically and culturally accepted for each region. It is envisioned that the primary membership will be local watermen, waterfront business owners, and those who have an economic and policy stake in Working Waterfront issues.
Lewie L. Lawrence - 804.758.2311: firstname.lastname@example.org
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