Northam releases Virginia’s First Coastal Resilience Master Plan

Governor Ralph Northam has released the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan, providing a foundational and fundamental step towards protecting Virginia’s coast.  

Virginia’s coastal areas face significant impacts from rising sea levels and increased storm flooding.

“We must acknowledge that climate change is permanently altering the physical limits of our coastal lands,” said Governor Northam. “The only way we can adapt and maintain our thriving communities is with thoughtful planning, reliance on science, and a willingness to make tough decisions. This Master Plan will guide decisions by the Commonwealth and our local government partners.” 

Earlier this year, the Commonwealth worked with 2,000 stakeholders to build the Coastal Resilience Master Plan.

This plan documents which land is exposed to coastal flooding hazards now and into the future, as well as the impacts of those future scenarios on coastal Virginia’s community resources and manmade and natural infrastructure.  

The next phase of the Master Plan, anticipated by 2024, will aim to address recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to broaden the analysis of natural hazards by including rainfall-driven, riverine, and compound flooding, expand and improve the inventory of resilience projects by continuing to add efforts and working with project owners to better understand the benefits of projects, and extend this critical work beyond the coastal region to encompass statewide resilience needs.

Photo: dcr.virginia.gov