• Denise Nelson, PE, CFM, ENV SP, LEED AP

Toward a Resilient and Thriving Coastal Region

Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and across the United States. Vulnerability to flooding intensifies with climate change, resulting in sea level rise, increased rainfall, and stronger coastal storms. In addition, population density magnifies the impacts of sea level rise and flooding. These factors, combined with development in flood-prone areas, combine to increase flood risk in the Commonwealth’s coastal communities, home to more than 70 percent of the State’s population. Virginia has the highest rate of sea level rise of any east coast state, putting billions of dollars in private property, and public infrastructure in danger.


Unless we take action to reduce flooding where we can, adapt to it where we cannot, and increase the resilience of our neighborhoods and infrastructure, living with the water in Virginia’s coastal communities will grow more challenging in the coming years. To proactively address flooding and sea level rise, Governor Northam has directed the Commonwealth government to develop a comprehensive Coastal Resilience Master Plan (CRMP) to improve flood resilience for residents in the coastal regions of the State.


The Master Plan brings together: a coastal risk and impact assessment; adaptation and resilience strategies; a project identification database and project evaluation process, recommendations for best practices; and potential financing strategies and funding sources, all into one, cohesive, online resource, for use by regional, and local governments, other stakeholders, and the public.


By taking a broader view along our entire coastal region, we can identify and address both the shared and unique challenges coastal residents face. The Commonwealth can also coordinate local, regional, state, and federal adaptation and resilience efforts and related programs to maximize their impact, encourage equitable treatment of traditionally underserved populations, align coastal resilience with environmental protection, and ensure that we leave no community behind.


The Commonwealth cannot achieve this vision of coastal resilience without the participation of coastal plain residents and stakeholders like you.


The Commonwealth is leading a coordinated planning effort that incorporates the creativity and ingenuity of our state’s many diverse coastal region communities to chart a comprehensive and inclusive path forward. Our participatory planning process will involve collaboration with communities, regional planning organizations, academic institutions, military installations, businesses and industry, and other key partners.


The Berkley Group is dedicated to representing the needs of local governments as the state develops the first Coastal Resilience Master Plan (CRMP). We are facilitating discussions between local governments and the master plan team and promoting public engagement events for the general public. Please see the public meeting schedule below:


· George Washington RC – July 27, Germanna Community College, Fredericksburg, VA

· PlanRVA (Richmond Regional PDC): July 28, 9211 Forest Hill Avenue, Suite 200, Richmond, VA 23235

· Crater PDC – July 29, 10001 Iron Bridge Road, Chesterfield, VA 23832

· Northern Neck PDC – August 4, 457 Main Street, Warsaw, VA 22572

· Hampton Roads PDC – August 5, Location: 723 Woodlake Drive, Chesapeake, VA 23320

· Accomack-Northampton PDC – August 11, Eastern Shore Community College

· Northern Virginia RC – August 10, Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale

· Middle Peninsula PDC – August 3, Rappahannock Community College, Glenns Campus, 12745 College Drive, Saluda VA


Additionally, the Public Survey can be completed online by clicking the link below:


https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VACRMP-Public