Showing posts with label Chesapeake Bay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chesapeake Bay. Show all posts

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Gloucester Point Beach Flooding: October Hurricane 2015

Over the weekend, October 3rd and 4th, 2015, the road going down to the Gloucester Point Beach has been closed to traffic.  Boats were also restricted and could not use the public access points.  There was considerable flooding all along the beach and parking areas as well as the main road.  At one point during high tide, the main road itself was under water.  It resided very quickly as the tide went out but nevertheless it was pretty much a mess.  We have taken a number of photos both here at the Gloucester Point Beach as well as at Yorktown showing how high the waters came up.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Governor McAuliffe Signs Executive Order Protecting Virginia’s Coastal Resources

Today Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an Executive Order continuing the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, a network of Virginia state agencies and local governments designed to protect the natural and economic assets located within Virginia’s coastal regions.

“From protecting the wildlife and fisheries of the Chesapeake Bay to meeting the threat of sea level rise, Virginia has a responsibility to protect our coastal areas and the vital natural and economic resources they offer,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The Coastal Zone Management Program is a critical framework for our Commonwealth’s stewardship of these important assets, and I intend to give it the full support of my administration.”

U.S. Representative Robert Wittman continued, “For over 25 years Virginia’s Coastal Zone Management Program has helped coordinate the Commonwealth’s efforts to protect  and restore coastal communities and natural resources. Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay, wetlands, and beaches are national treasures; these efforts to enhance coastal communities and ecosystems benefit us all.”

Below is the full text of the executive order:



Importance of the Initiative
            The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program's (“Program”) mission is to create more vital and sustainable coastal communities and ecosystems. The Department of Environmental Quality will serve as the lead agency for this networked program and will be responsible for allocation and assignment of all federal funds received for the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program Implementation Grant.

            By virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor under Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and under the laws of the Commonwealth, including but not limited to Sections 2.2-103 and 2.2-104 of the Code of Virginia, and subject to my continuing and ultimate authority and responsibility to act in such matters, I hereby continue the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program.


            State agencies having responsibility for the Commonwealth's coastal resources shall promote the Coastal Zone Management Program consistent with the following goals:

Coastal and Ocean Resource Protection

            Goal 1: To protect and restore coastal and ocean resources, habitats, and species of the Commonwealth. These include, but are not limited to, wetlands, subaqueous lands and vegetation, beaches, sand dune systems, barrier islands, underwater or maritime cultural resources, riparian forested buffers, and endangered or threatened species.

            Goal 2: To restore and maintain the quality of all coastal and ocean waters for human and ecosystem health through protection from adverse effects of excess nutrients, toxics, pathogens, and sedimentation.

            Goal 3: To protect air quality.

            Goal 4: To reduce or prevent losses of coastal habitat, life, and property caused by shoreline erosion, storms, relative sea level rise, and other coastal hazards in a manner that balances environmental and economic considerations.

Coastal and Ocean Resource Sustainable Use

            Goal 5: To provide for sustainable wild fisheries and aquaculture.

            Goal 6: To promote sustainable ecotourism and to increase and improve public access to coastal waters and shorefront lands compatible with resource protection goals.

            Goal 7: To promote renewable energy production and provide for appropriate extraction of energy and mineral resources consistent with proper environmental practices.

Coastal and Ocean Management Coordination

            Goal 8: To ensure sustainable development on coastal lands and support access for water-dependent development through effective coordination of governmental planning processes.

            Goal 9: To avoid and minimize coastal and ocean resource use conflicts through research, planning, and a forum for coordination and facilitation among local, regional, state, and federal government agencies, interest groups, and citizens.

            Goal 10: To promote informed decision-making by maximizing the availability of up-to-date educational information, technical advice, and scientific data including the use of new tools such as marine spatial planning.


            The following agencies, in cooperation with local governments, as appropriate, shall have primary responsibility for implementing the enforceable policies of Virginia's Coastal Zone Management Program as approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

Responsible Agency and Enforceable Policies

Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
Point source water pollution management and nontidal wetlands management
Air pollution
Nonpoint source pollution management
Coastal lands management

Marine Resources Commission (MRC)
            Primary sand dunes management
            Tidal wetlands management
            Subaqueous lands management
            Fisheries management (shared with DGIF)

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF)
Fisheries management (shared with MRC)

Department of Health
Shoreline sanitation

The following agencies are responsible for assisting with the program:

Department of Conservation & Recreation
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Department of Forestry
Department of Historic Resources
Department of Mines, Minerals & Energy
Department of Transportation
Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Virginia Department of Emergency Management

            In addition, other agencies that conduct activities that may affect coastal resources shall conduct such activities in a manner consistent with and supportive of Virginia's Coastal Zone Management Program. For purposes of this Program, the Coastal Area shall mean Tidewater Virginia as defined in Section 28.2-100 of the Code of Virginia, inclusive of all tidal waters out to the three nautical mile Territorial Sea Boundary.

            The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall monitor all state actions that affect coastal resources. When, in the judgment of the DEQ Director, a state agency, regulatory board, or commission is about to act in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the Program or has established a pattern of actions that appears to be inconsistent with the Program, the Director shall discuss the situation with the head of such agency, board, or commission to determine if a consistency problem exists.

            If, after discussion, the head of such agency, board, or commission and the Director of DEQ are in disagreement about the existence of a consistency problem, the Director will inform the Secretary of Natural Resources of the disagreement. The Secretary shall then determine if a state interagency consistency problem exists.

            If the head of such agency, board, or commission and the Director of DEQ agree that a consistency problem exists, they shall attempt to resolve the problem. If they cannot resolve the problem, the Director shall advise the Secretary that an unresolved interagency consistency problem exists.

            Upon notification of the existence of an unresolved consistency problem, the Secretary shall review the problem, determine how it should best be resolved, and affect such resolution within the Secretariat of Natural Resources or consult with other Cabinet Secretaries to resolve a consistency problem with agencies, boards, or commissions not within the Secretariat of Natural Resources. If unable to resolve the problem, the Secretary shall report to the Governor and recommend appropriate action. The Governor shall have the ultimate responsibility for resolving any interagency consistency problem that cannot be resolved by the Secretary of Natural Resources.

            Any person having authority to resolve consistency problems under the terms of this Executive Order shall resolve those problems in a manner that furthers the goals and objectives of the Program as set forth above and in accordance with existing state law, regulations, and administrative procedures.

Effective Date of the Executive Order

            This Executive Order rescinds Executive Order No. 18 (2010), issued by Governor Robert F. McDonnell. This Executive Order shall be effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect until June 30, 2018, unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.

            Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia on this 2nd day of December, 2014.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor


           Secretary of the Commonwealth

(Please note:  This only applies to government entities and those who contract with the government.  Not one area of this applies to the people or to any businesses, unless they contract with the government.  With that said, who cares?)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Governor McAuliffe Celebrates New Initiative to Support State Parks

Fall in Sky Meadows State Park in Virginia, USA.
Fall in Sky Meadows State Park in Virginia, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe hosted a strategic planning session today in Richmond for the Partnership for Parks campaign founded by the Virginia Association for Parks and the Garden Club of Virginia.  The Partnership for Parks was formed to raise private funding to design, build and install new interpretive exhibits in more than a dozen state park visitor centers.  The partners recognize that the goal of exhibits is to educate, entertain and inspire park visitors. 

More than 30 people from across the Commonwealth came to Richmond to chart a strategic plan for completing this effort by the year 2020.  More than $5 million will be needed for the campaign. 

At a luncheon following the meeting, Governor McAuliffe said, “Our state parks are treasures enjoyed by more than 9 million visitors a year and they are places where Virginians and visitors to Virginia go to enhance their mental and physical health and well being. The installation of these new exhibits will improve the experience of the many visitors to our state parks, increase knowledge of our natural and cultural heritage and make Virginia an even more attractive place for tourism, a key element of our efforts to build and sustain a new Virginia economy.  My thanks to the partnership for helping to make this happen”

Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward introduced Mrs. McAuliffe as an advocate for childhood issues, including quality education, access to healthy foods and the availability of close to home outdoor recreation. Mrs. McAuliffe addressed the group and spoke about the importance of reaching children with the modern technology that they have become accustomed to using  an average  of eight hours a day. “If we want to make outdoor recreation a lifelong part of a healthy lifestyle, experts tell us these habits must be developed early in life,” said Mrs. McAuliffe. The partnership has already designed an exhibit in collaboration with our state parks titled “Outdoor Challenge” that is a state-of-the-art, high tech, interactive multimedia experience intended to engage youth particularly and everyone else regardless of age in life enhancing outdoor recreation in our parks.  

If we also want the millennial generation to understand the stewardship responsibility we all have as citizens, then that too needs to be communicated early.  If students understand the connectivity between ourselves and everything else in our environment, they will appreciate the balance that must be maintained,” Mrs. McAuliffe stated.

Johnny Finch, president of the Virginia Association for Parks and Jeanette Cadwallender, president of the Garden Club of Virginia, expressed their appreciation that the Governor and First Lady are supporting the Partnership for Parks.  “It may be years before the state’s budget improves enough to address funding for state parks.  Our state parks are among America’s best, but simply maintaining and staffing them has been a challenge for the state.  We believe the Partnership for Parks campaign is essential to keeping our parks relevant and exciting for visitors young and old alike. Our parks are good for people, good for the environment and are vital to our economy. Tourism is an important part of our economy and our parks are a centerpiece of our tourism infrastructure. To have the support from the McAuliffes strengthens this volunteer effort.” stated the two state leaders. 

For more information about the Partnership for Parks visit

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Governor McAuliffe and State Leaders Tout New Agricultural Resource Management Plan

The Harvesters
The Harvesters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(WEYERS CAVE) – Governor Terry McAuliffe today joined Virginia agricultural and conservation leaders in endorsing and promoting the state’s new agricultural Resource Management Plan (RMP) program. The program encourages farmers to increase their use of conservation best management practices while providing the agricultural community quantifiable credit for the practices they already have in place.
“This voluntary program makes sense for farmers and for Virginia’s ongoing push to keep the Chesapeake and surrounding waters clean,” said Governor McAuliffe. “ My administration has worked closely with agricultural and conservation groups to develop a program that is a ‘win’ for all those involved by promoting best conservation practices, while also better tracking the programs that farmers already have in place. Building a new Virginia economy means growing key industries like agriculture while protecting the natural assets that are essential to Virginians’ health and quality of life. I want to thank the agricultural and conservation groups that have come together on this important new plan.”
The Governor touted the new program at Cave View Farm in Weyers Cave alongside First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Natural Resources Secretary Molly Ward, Agriculture and Forestry Secretary Todd Haymore. They were also joined by representatives from the Virginia Farm Bureau; the Virginia Agribusiness Council; the Virginia Dairymen’s Association; the Virginia Cattlemen Association; the Virginia Poultry Federation; the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; and the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. 
Delegate Ed Scott (Madison) and Senator Emmett Hanger (Augusta), the Patrons of the legislation creating the program, and Delegate Steve Landes (Augusta) also joined the Governor in endorsing RMPs.
“The Resource Management Program will be a critical part of our efforts to protect and restore our rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Secretary Ward.  “I am pleased how the partnership between our natural resource agencies and the agricultural community is working to make this program a success.  Virginia’s waters and farms will both benefit.”
“Virginia growers have a reputation of producing some of the highest quality agricultural commodities in the world and they rely on healthy lands and clean water to do so,” said Secretary Haymore.  “They also have a reputation of being good stewards of these precious natural resources, so I expect that we’ll see our growers utilizing fully the RMP program and getting full credit for the conservation practices they are using now and will be using in the future.”
The program, which was approved in the 2011 General Assembly session, encourages farmers to have a private sector RMP developer create a plan for their farm or any portion of it. The plan will incorporate the property’s current stream buffer, soil conservation, nutrient management and stream exclusion practices and recommend other practices needed. Once the plan is approved and implemented, the property is deemed to be in compliance with state nutrient and sediment water quality standards. This certainty remains in place during the plan’s nine-year lifespan. Virginia is the nation’s fifth state, and the first in the Chesapeake Bay region, with an agricultural certainty program.
“The idea behind the RMP was to advance water quality improvement and at the same time provide farmers an opportunity for some regulatory assurance,” said Delegate Ed Scott (R-Culpeper), a patron of the legislation.  “We’ve got farmers who have put literally thousands of best management practices on the ground, through this process we’ll give them credit for those practices and help identify other practices available to make further progress on water quality goals.”
RMPs can assist farmers in becoming more efficient and profitable by helping them use fertilizers more wisely, increasing yields and improving livestock health, safety and productivity. The certainty afforded to farmers with an RMP plan will also provide them greater confidence as they plan for investments in their operations going forward.  Knowing that investments made now in protecting water quality will afford safe harbor over the nine year life of the plan will make it easier to invest in additional production activities, giving farms greater opportunities at revenue and profitability. 
“I am pleased to join in the roll out of this program after my colleagues and I in the General Assembly approved this program with support from the agricultural and environmental community,”said Delegate Steve Landes (R-Augusta).  “As we continue to promote the agriculture and forestry industries in Virginia, we know that a commitment to our conservation practices will reap economic benefits as well.”
In addition to encouraging farmers to implement practices to receive the certainty, the program willdocument practices in use, providing verified data to validate the agricultural sector’s level of conservation implementation. Better tracking of agricultural conservation practices through the use of resource management plans will also provide decision makers more accurate data when determining future funding needs for cost-share and other incentive programs.
“Resource management plans can provide many benefits to make our region’s farms more efficient and profitable while crediting our farmers for their stewardship of Virginia’s natural resources,” said Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta County).  “Protecting our farms and our natural resources are one in the same, and Virginia benefits from having so many united public and private partners on this effort.”
Money is available through the Virginia Agricultural Cost Share program to fund both the development and implementation of RMPs and the practices needed to complete one. Farmers can work directly with RMP developers to apply for development of a plan on their property. DCR is currently working to expand the number of developers available to farmers and is accepting applications for certified resource management plan developers.
For more information on resource management plans, farm operators can contact their local soil and water conservation district or go to DCR’s website at and click on “Soil and Water.”

Governor McAuliffe Affirms Virginia’s Commitment to River, Chesapeake Bay Public Access

Map of .
Map of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
RICHMOND — Governor Terry McAuliffe today joined officials from the National Park Service and the Chesapeake Conservancy, as well as local and state partners, on the banks of the Potomac River at Caledon State Park in King George County to affirm Virginia’s commitment to increasing public access to rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

“Protecting the health and vitality of Virginia’s waterways and promoting their use means we can connect people from all over the world with our Commonwealth’s natural resources and grow our economy as well,” said Governor McAuliffe. “My team and I want to continue to provide Virginia’s residents and visitors more places to swim, fish, put in a canoe and just be in nature. By partnering with the National Park Service, the Chesapeake Conservancy and others to increase access to our waterways in the Chesapeake Bay region, Virginia will create opportunities for more people to enjoy and appreciate the countless natural, cultural and historic treasures found here.”

The Commonwealth of Virginia and the National Park Service have agreed to a memorandum of understanding to advance mutual commitments to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. A focus of the trails is to bring to the region new opportunities for public access, recreation, education and heritage tourism.

Today’s event at Caledon State Park dedicated a new canoe-in campground enabling paddlers to rest or stay overnight in a primitive campsite. Development of the campground was a collaborative effort among the National Park Service, the Chesapeake Conservancy, and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, which manages Virginia state parks.

“Development of this canoe-in site increases people’s access to the river and to one of the country’s most significant summering spots for bald eagles,” said Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward. “This contributes to both the state park’s and the trails’ goals of allowing visitors to experience this area’s unique natural treasures.”

Canoe-in campgrounds were identified as a key need during development of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Public Access Plan. The plan, which calls for adding 300 new public access sites in the bay watershed by 2025, is part of the broad federal, state and nongovernmental strategy to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.

Members of Virginia’s Youth Conservation Corps built the campground with financial support from the National Park Service. Each campsite measures 20 feet by 30 feet and offers a picnic table, fire ring and lantern post.