HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A multi-million dollar bond will help the City of Hampton fight flooding through green projects.
On Thursday, the city along with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Quantified Ventures announced the closing of a $12 million bond.
The partnership started back in December 2018 to use environmental impact bonds (EIB) to finance green infrastructure, which is part of the city’s Resilient Hampton initiative to attract investors to support community projects.
According to those involved, the EIB is the first in Virginia and the third throughout the country.
“Hampton is proud to be a city of firsts and today, we add a new first to our city of innovation,” said Mayor Donnie Tuck during a virtual press conference.
The city designed the projects to reduce flooding in Newmarket Creek, which encompasses Hampton’s central business district, Langley Air Force Base, and residential neighborhoods.
“We are still impressed this small Virginia city had the vision and commitment to bring this project to a successful conclusion,” said Lee Epstein, who is with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Tuck says that the projects will help collect 8.6 million gallons of water during storm events.
These projects use natural resources and can include bioswales, rain gardens, constructed wetlands, reconfigured water management facilities, pervious pavement, and green roofs.
The plans will also help mitigate storm water pollution.
“This is a real win-win. Hampton’s project will localize funding, beautify the community, and add recreation,” Epstein said.
These types of bonds are also unique, according to those with the project, because they report actual outcomes to investors.
Groundbreaking will start in the fall of 2021 and take two to three years to complete.
Congressional representatives who were also present say these projects show how the federal, state, and local governments can work together.
“We know in Hampton Roads that sea-level rise is a quality of life issue but it also impacts businesses, travel, schools, our day-to-day activities,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria, who also mentioned the threat it is to the military.