The Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC), Gloucester County, VA, as part of its efforts to update the region’s Long-Range Transportation Plan to include waterways, is seeking the public’s input through an online survey, MPPDC Director Lewie Lawrence announced yesterday.
“The updated transportation plan will feature a newly created waterways section that will allow us to focus heavily on planning the future dredging needs of our region’s at-risk waterways,” Lawrence said.
“The Middle Peninsula’s greatest asset – besides its people – is the blue-green infrastructure that defines what it means to live and work here. We want to ensure the waterways that many rely on are well protected and navigable for the commerce and recreation that fuels much of our region’s economy.”
The addition of the waterways into the transportation plan was fueled by Delegate Keith Hodges’ (R-Urbanna) bipartisan leadership effort to create the Virginia Waterway Maintenance Fund and Grant Program; and a study released by the U.S. Coast Guard that identified waterways experiencing shoaling, where a body of water has become shallow.
The study specifically identified shallowing areas in various navigable creeks throughout the Middle Peninsula that provide access to the Chesapeake Bay.
“For the purpose of our transportation planning, we are defining the waterways identified in the U.S. Coast Guard report as experiencing any level of shoaling as at-risk waterways,” Lawrence added.
By adding a waterways section to the transportation plan, the MPPDC will provide localities across the Middle Peninsula with an overview of the issues facing their residents and begin the planning process now to address it with a prioritized list of future dredging projects.
The survey is available at www.mppdc.com.