Living Shoreline Workshop for Contractors and Landscape Professionals ~ Virginia, USA

Presented by The Wetlands Project, Friends of the Rappahannock, and Lancaster County Virginia  ~  A great partnership and a terrific team!

Date: April 19, 2017 ~ Location: Camp Kekoka ~ Kilmarnock, Virginia

Karen Duhring presents “Fundamentals of Living Shorelines”

On September 1, 2015 the Virginia Marine Resources Commission authorized a new regulation entitled “Living Shoreline Group 1 General Permit for Certain Living Shoreline Treatments Involving Tidal Wetlands”.

The purpose of this general permit is to “provide a streamlined permitting process as an incentive to encourage property owners to utilize a living shoreline approach as appropriate, to manage shoreline erosion, and promote the planting and growth of tidal wetland vegetation to restore or enhance ecosystem services.”

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The NIMBY Shoreline Network

NIMBY – “Not in My Back Yard”

The NIMBY Shoreline Network is an initiative to connect homeowner associations and neighborhood groups with information that could influence decisions regarding shoreline management on private property.

An efficient way to share this information is through the existing structure of homeowner associations and informal neighborhood groups that maintain regular contact with their members. This distribution of information is especially important in communities where residents with second homes may not be receiving shoreline related information from local news sources.

Examples of newsworthy items relevant to Northern Neck and other Tidewater counties include:

  • Virginia’s General Assembly has allocated financial resources for local governments to establish funding programs for individual citizens to construct living shorelines on their property. (HB 1734)
  • Effective July 1, 2016, the Governor of Virginia has approved a real estate tax exemption for construction of new living shorelines – at the discretion of each locality. (HR 526)
  • Virginia Marine Resources Commission has developed a new and FREE streamlined General Permit for installation of living shorelines. Click here to review permit.
  • Coastal mapping tools that evaluate shoreline conditions and recommend solutions are available to property owners free of charge from the Center for Coastal Resources Management .

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Wetlands Adventure Trail – Virginia, USA

Happiness is a Northern Neck Wetland!

The Wetlands Adventure Trail is an interpretive guide for wetlands areas that develops and nurtures the important local connections between community heritage, wetlands preservation and the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The program appeals to a broad audience by incorporating wetlands knowledge with historic, geographic and cultural themes.

The guide is an on-line information document organized by topic that is accessed on-site by visitors with smartphone or tablet capability. Similar to a tourism brochure, the information includes photos, specific site references and details that enhance the visitor experience. The Northern Neck of Virginia is the location of the first Wetlands Adventure Trail.

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Wetlands 101 – Virginia, USA

Tidal and non-tidal wetlands are a broad and complex subject, and their roles in providing valuable ecosystem services (benefits to humans) are not widely understood by the general public. For many private citizens, knowledge about wetlands conservation is lost in complicated graphs and charts of data; or in cumbersome issues related to zoning permits and governmental regulations.

The Northern Neck has over 1400 miles of shoreline and the vast majority is privately owned. The purpose of “Wetlands 101” is to raise awareness for the environmental and economic reasons for preserving wetlands areas, rather than hardening shorelines with bulkheads or stone revetments. Without voluntary participation from private landowners, wetlands will continue to be lost or degraded.   Continue reading

Wetlands Project Advisory Group – Virginia, USA

We are excited to announce formation of the Northern Neck Wetlands Project Advisory Group. The goal of this group is to “chart the course” for wetlands conservation on the Northern Neck and create the partnerships that will implement recommendations from the May 2014 Wetlands Summit.

Immediate goals of the group are to develop a locally focused “Wetlands 101” educational campaign for property owners delivered via regional publications and speakers. A key point in the success of this program will be to communicate a consistent wetlands conservation message from all organizations and provide a mechanism for storing and disseminating information.

A “Consortium for Environmental Stewardship” is being developed simultaneously which will enable local environmental organizations to share information, identify overlapping goals and avoid duplication of programs. First on the agenda will be the topic of wetlands preservation on the Northern Neck. Continue reading