Hampton Roads Planning District CommissionHRPDCVA
Home » Departments » Water Resources » Coastal Resiliency » Policy Guidance

Water Resources

Policy Guidance

Regional Sea Level Rise Policy

On October 18, 2018, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission approved and adopted a resolution encouraging local governments within the region to consider adopting policies that incorporate sea level rise into planning and engineering decisions. The approved Sea Level Rise Planning Policy and Approach recommends the following relative sea level rise scenarios:

  • 1.5 ft above current mean higher high water (MHHW) for near-term (2018-2050)
  • 3 ft above current mean higher high water (MHHW) for mid-term (2050-2080)
  • 4.5 ft above current mean higher high water (MHHW) for long-term (2080-2100)

The document also recommends selecting sea level rise curves and designs based on the risk tolerance and costs associated with individual projects. HRPDC staff is working to develop more specific implementation recommendations for categories of projects and policies.


Line graph depicting projected sea level change at Sewells Point 2000-2100

2019 HRPDC Resiliency Legislative Priorities

HRPDC Staff support resilience planning efforts by providing policy guidance and recommendations at multiple scales. The HRPDC 2019 Regional Legislative Priorities include support of three state actions regarding recurrent flooding and sea level rise:

(1)   Pursuing federal/state funding for recurrent flooding/sea level rise projects, particularly those that protect the mission of our region’s military installations.

(2)   Appropriating and retaining matching funds for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 3x3x3 studies of flood mitigation and other coastal resiliency projects.

(3)   Appropriating $500,000 for the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund that was created during the 2016 General Assembly session but received no funding.

HRPDC Report:

Integrating Coastal Resilience Into Local Plans, Policies, and Ordinances (2017):
HRPDC Staff documented best practices for localities to incorporate coastal resilience into their planning documents. This report provides an assessment of coastal resilience in current local plans and policies and highlights case studies of coastal resilience policy initiatives in Virginia, Florida, and South Carolina.