Wetlands & Shoreline Workshop – Virginia USA

Virginia’s General Assembly has directed that “living shorelines” are now the preferred method of treating shoreline erosion. Contractors recognize the importance of shoreline management solutions that maintain our vital tidal wetland ecosystems and property owners are taking a keen interest in preserving their natural shorelines. 

The Wetlands and Shoreline Contractor Workshop took place in Reedville, Virginia on October 7, 2015. Attendees included over 80 contractors, government officials, and a contingent of conservation groups, academics and local business owners. Lancaster County, Friends of the Rappahannock and The Wetlands Project presented this informative program for contractors and regulatory officials working on Northern Neck shorelines and in Middle Peninsula counties along the Rappahannock River.

Version 2The morning sessions included key presentations from Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Army Corps of Engineers and Virginia Marine Resources Commission. After a visit to the “mini-expo” and the demonstration living shoreline at the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum, the topics of the morning rolled into a panel discussion called “Contractor’s Toolbox”. This very popular session took a practical and pragmatic approach to the processs of installing living shorelines.

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The Wetlands Summit – 13 May 2014 – Virginia USA

Summary of The Wetlands Summit

In celebration of American Wetlands Month, a group of Northern Neck officials, community conservation groups, and environmental educators attended The Wetlands Summit to focus attention on the  ecosystem services provided by our wetlands. Attendance at The Wetlands Summit was by invitation only and the attendees represented 26 different organizations actively involved in wetlands conservation on the Northern Neck.

The full day agenda included presentations covering a range of wetlands  topics, a panel discussion focusing on public and private partnerships  that protect Virginia’s wetlands, and break-out sessions  discussing challenges and solutions for wetlands conservation issues. A complete report on The Wetlands Summit and most of the presentations can be downloaded below.

Many challenges to wetlands conservation were identified throughout the day. Educating the general public on the environmental importance of wetlands, and a lack of funding  for wetlands conservation projects emerged as the two key issues. To be effective, educational solutions  need to include development of programs tailored for specific groups such as homeowners, real estate professionals and marine contractors. Funding issues will require a broader set of solutions and significant financial support from grants and concerned citizens. It will be important for all stakeholders to work together to elevate wetlands conservation to a higher priority at the local, county, state and federal levels.

Sponsored by The Wetlands Project in partnership with Northern Neck Soil and Water Conservation District, Northern Neck Planning District Commission and the Northern Neck Land Conservancy, The Wetlands Summit has energized a knowledgeable and committed group of wetlands conservation professionals and volunteers. It was a productive day of networking, exchanging information and planning for the future!

Many thanks to our partners, speakers, panelists and attendees!

Download the complete report on The Wetlands Summit:

The Wetlands Summit Agenda

Part 1: Attendees and Evaluations

Part 2: The Way Forward

Presentations from The Wetlands Summit are also available for download:

The Ecosystem Services of Wetlands

Northen Neck Sea Level Rise

Northern Neck Web Mapping Resources

Summary of Websites for Sea Level Rise and Mapping Resources

Non-Tidal Wetlands

Wetlands Role in Comprehensive Planning for Counties in the Northern Neck

Partnerships that Work in Wetlands Conservation and Restoration: A Case Study from Hull Springs Farm

Northumberland Association for Progressive Stewardship


Northern Neck Master Naturalists

Virginia Native Plant Society Northern Neck Chapter

Hull Springs Farm

Northern Neck Land Conservancy Presentation

The Northern Neck of Virginia

Used with permission, Northern Neck Tourism Commission

Used with permission, Northern Neck Tourism Commission

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Waterman Tourism Training Program – Virginia, USA

The Wetlands Project Completed Projects

November 2013 – Waterman Tourism Training Program – Virginia, USA

Our project partner, Chesapeake Environmental Communications, has been instrumental in creating a successful workshop series that introduces working watermen in Virginia’s rural coastal communities to ecotourism opportunities. This training program covers business development, techniques for engaging with the public, and the important relationship between local culture, history, and the environment. Seven working watermen were trained in the program and received a Certificate of Completion and 1.2 Continuing Education Units.

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Port Royal King Street Project – Virginia, USA

Port Royal

UPDATE – September 20, 2014: It is wonderful to announce that construction on the Port Royal King Street Project has begun!  After numerous delays that ranged from engineering specifications, to permitting, and even to fish spawning in the Rappahannock River, Phase 1 of the canoe/kayak soft-launch is underway. The photo below shows the turbidity curtain placed in the water to protect the river from silt stirred up during the construction work.

Port Royal Turb

Port Royal Turbidity Curtain

Founded in 1744, the town of Port Royal  has deep roots in American colonial history and a rich heritage that has evolved along the shores of the Rappahannock River. A coalition of  conservation groups and government agencies have joined the town of Port Royal and our project partner, Friends of the Rappahannock, to provide financial resources to construct a  pier with an adjoining launch area for canoes and kayaks.  The site will have a demonstration “Living Shoreline” and new educational signage describing the balance between healthy wetlands and healthy rivers.

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