Hampton Roads Planning District CommissionHRPDCVA

Water Resources

Coastal Resources

Coastal resources management refers to the proactive study, planning for, and use of important resources in coastal areas such as beaches, wetlands, waterfront lands, and fisheries. The HRPDC’s Coastal Resources Management Program works with local governments, state and federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations to inform and coordinate decisions on policies and projects affecting coastal resources in Hampton Roads.

The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VCZMP), originally established in 1986, is a network of state laws and policies through which the Commonwealth of Virginia manages the use of and impacts to important coastal resources. Areas of particular emphasis include coastal wildlife habitats, public access, resiliency, and land conservation. The VCZMP implements the Commonwealth’s responsibilities under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended.

Every five years the VCZMP works with its partners and stakeholders to assess program needs and develop new strategies and priorities for enhancing the program. The most recent process started in 2019 with a needs assessment and resulted in the identification of four priority issues for the VCZMP to focus on for FY21 to FY25:

  1. Coastal Hazards
  2. Cumulative and Secondary Impacts of Coastal Growth and Development
  3. Ocean Resources
  4. Marine Debris

These strategies were approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in February 2021. More information on these strategies is available on the VCZMP website.


Map of Virginia’s coastal zone.

Virginia’s coastal zone includes 8 planning districts, 29 counties, 17 independent cities, and 42 incorporated towns that border the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, and other tidal waters.

Through the Coastal Resources Management Program, the HRPDC works closely with the other seven coastal Planning District Commissions on issues and programs of mutual interest and concern, such as working waterfronts and land conservation. Focal areas for the HRPDC’s coastal resources management program include green infrastructure, coastal resiliency, and public access. The HRPDC staff also helps guide the implementation and enhancement of the VCZMP by participating on the Virginia Coastal Policy Team.



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