2700 Neabsco Common Place, Suite 125, Woodbridge VA 22191

Governor Northam Announces $7.8 Million in Community Flood Preparedness Grants

2020 Governor of Virginia

Written By: Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam

Governor Ralph Northam today announced $7.8 million in grants to support 19 local projects that address impacts of flooding, sea-level rise, and extreme weather statewide.

The grants are the first to be awarded through the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund. The Governor and General Assembly established the fund in 2020 to assist communities in building resilience to the impacts of climate change, including floods, with targeted funding going to vulnerable and underserved communities.

The fund is financed by the sale of carbon emission allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Virginia joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in January 2021.

“Virginians have experienced the devastating effects of flooding over and over again,” said Governor Northam. “Without strong investments in resiliency, we will continue to see more of the same. The Community Flood Preparedness Fund grants are so important because they will jumpstart projects in more than a dozen localities, including some that have been impacted by recent disasters.”

The Community Flood Preparedness Fund is allocated 45 percent of the revenue Virginia generates through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. An estimated $75 million per year will be available through the matching grant program.

At least 25 percent of the money distributed from the fund each year must be used for projects in low-income geographic areas. For this grant cycle, 48 percent, or $3.7 million, of total awards has been allocated to projects in these areas.

Eligible projects areas include planning and capacity building activities, flood prevention and protection studies, and on-the-ground improvements that strengthen flood resilience. The program prioritizes projects that utilize nature-based solutions.

“Nature-based solutions often are the most effective and affordable ways of mitigating flood damage,” said Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources Ann Jennings. “These strategies also can improve water quality and wildlife habitat. It’s exciting that more than half the projects being funded in this first round of Community Flood Preparedness grants will incorporate nature-based solutions into flood mitigation.”

Provisions of the Community Flood Preparedness Fund align with the forthcoming Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan. The plan enables the state government to prioritize and finance climate adaptation programs equitably across all communities in the coastal plain.

“New and robust funding strategies, such as those provided through the Community Flood Preparedness Fund, will be essential to achieving the goals identified through the Coastal Resilience Master Plan,” said Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection Ann C. Phillips.

The fund is administered by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation on behalf of the Virginia Resources Authority. The Department of Conservation and Recreation oversees the state floodplain management program.

“The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation stands ready to assist applicants in any way possible,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Clyde Cristman. “And, as we announce this initial award, we’ll continue to work with those whose proposals require additional information to further evaluate their projects. We want as many communities as possible to benefit from these funds.

A second grant cycle closes on November 5. More information is available here.

Community Flood Preparedness Fund 2021 Grant Awards – Round 1

Eastern Branch of Elizabeth River Wetland and Floodplain Restoration | $3,000,000
City of Virginia Beach

McGuire and Chapel Drive Drainage Improvements Project | $1,100,000
City of Richmond

Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Analysis | $900,000
City of Norfolk

Portsmouth’s Data-Driven and Equity-Driven Resilience Strategy | $527,949
City of Portsmouth

Lake Whitehurst Watershed Study | $500,000
City of Norfolk

Plans and Capacity Building with Consultant Services | $387,500
Buchanan County

Oyster Plan – Capacity Building and Resilience Planning | $202,232
Northampton County

Resilient Hampton: Downton Hampton, Phoebus and Buckroe Beach | $158,681
City of Hampton

Moores Creek Watershed | $153,500
City of Charlottesville

Honor Park Resilience Park | $147,994
City of Hampton

Mill Point Living Shoreline | $126,498
City of Hampton

Resilient Stormwater Capacity and Green Streets Project | $115,200
City of Alexandria

Richmond Manchester and Shockoe Bottom Neighborhoods | $103,500
City of Richmond

Southern Chesapeake – Watershed 5 | $91,404
City of Chesapeake 

Resilience Plan | $74,997
City of Chesapeake

Capacity Building and Planning | $68,024
City of Suffolk

Resilience Plan | $65,040
City of Winchester

The Impacts of Climate Change on Crop Planning and Production: An Agricultural Study of the Eastern Shore | $47,121
Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission

Carlton Road Boat Ramp, Wake, Virginia – Design and Permitting | $26,400
Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (Middlesex County)