Governor Ralph Northam: Increasing Virginia’s Resilience to Sea Level Rise

During the 6th Annual Conference of the Virginia Coastal Policy Center, at the College of William & Mary Law School last week, Governor Ralph Northam signed a sweeping executive order to bolster Virginia’s resilience to sea level rise and natural hazards. 

The Executive Order, broad in scope and objectives, is among the most comprehensive actions undertaken by any state to improve resilience and protect people and property from natural catastrophes. Most significantly, the executive order directs the development of a “Coastal Resilience Master Plan” to protect Virginia coastline from sea level rise and extreme weather.

“As extreme weather events become more frequent and more intense, the safety and economic well-being of every Virginian is put at greater risk,” said Governor Northam.

“The actions the Commonwealth will undertake as a result of this Executive Order will ensure we address this growing challenge head on, setting Virginia on a path towards resilience to near and long-term natural catastrophes and enhancing our public health and economic vitality with a whole of government approach.”

The Executive Order lays out steps Virginia’s government will undertake to lead by example and ensure its facilities and holdings are resilient.

In addition, it creates a series of reviews and planning efforts that will benefit the citizens, local governments, regions, public, and private property. It orders the creation of a “Coastal Resilience Master Plan” that will detail specific actions to adapt and protect Virginia’s Coastal Regions.