Governor Northam addresses flooding, announces actions to improve coastal resilience

Virginia

The announcement includes elevating Coastal Zone Management Program, establishing new advisory committee, issuing statewide request for proposal for Coastal Resilience Master Plan.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam listens as he prepares to speak to a group of volunteers to distribute supplies at health equity community event Tuesday May 12, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND – (WAVY) – On Thursday, Governor Ralph Northam announced new executive actions to improve coastal resilience and protect Virginia communities.

The announcement comes as the Commonwealth continues to experience flooding and extreme weather events heightened by climate change.

The three actions the Governor implemented include elevating the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program to report to the Commonwealth’s Chief Resilience Officer, issuing a statewide request for proposal for technical engineering assistance in developing the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan, and formally establishing the Virginia Coastal Resilience Technical Advisory Committee.

Northam said these steps will directly support the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework announced in October.

“Virginia is increasingly experiencing intense storms and flooding due to climate change, endangering our environment and natural resources, public health and safety, and the economic well-being of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam.

The General Assembly passed and Governor Northam signed legislation creating the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund this year.

The Fund will be administered by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and financed by the sale of emission allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiate.

On Monday, Dec. 7, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will publish draft guidelines on the uses and administration of the Fund.

The draft guidelines are available for review and public comment through Sunday, January 31, 2021.

In addition, the Northam Administration said they will also conduct targeted outreach to localities, tribal governments, planning districts, and key stakeholders.

“We must act now to mitigate these threats and protect lives and livelihoods, and these actions will bolster our ongoing work to build coastal resilience and maintain thriving communities,” said Northam.

The three executive actions announced by the Governor are the following:

  • Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program
  • Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan Request for Proposal
  • Virginia Coastal Resilience Technical Advisory Committee

To view Governor Northam’s full press release on resilience and coastal adaptation initiatives in Virginia, click here.


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