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Coastal Communities

Virginia Sea Grant works to enhance the sustainability and viability of coastal communities through economic and social science research as well as extension activities. The coastal community development program within VIMS Marine Advisory services department conducts economic analyses and supports coastal industries such as marinas, boating, seafood, and tourism. We have also partnered with Old Dominion University and William & Mary Law School on projects that address climate change adaptation.

Extension projects include:


Current research and extension work is featured below.


Financing Coastal Adaptation Theme of VCPC 2015 Annual Conference

Financing Coastal Adaptation Theme of VCPC 2015 Annual Conference

The Virginia Coastal Policy Center’s third annual climate change conference focused on the fiscal challenges of adaptation.

Community Ties Drive VCPC Student

Community Ties Drive VCPC Student

Alfred Gabbin will apply skills he gained as a taxi driver while collaborating on the Virginia Coastal Policy Center’s Southeast community project.

VCPC Student Seeks Balance in Environmental Law

VCPC Student Seeks Balance in Environmental Law

Kathleen Zaratzian will practice balancing interests in environmental law as a student in the Virginia Coastal Policy Center.

VCPC Students Present TDR Plan to Mathews County Planning Commission

VCPC Students Present TDR Plan to Mathews County Planning Commission

Michael Killius and Jessica Lung gave a presentation to the Mathews County Planning Commission on the potential use of transferable development rights in responding to the challenges of sea level rise and recurrent flooding.

Globetrotting Hokule’a to Land in Hampton Roads

Globetrotting Hokule’a to Land in Hampton Roads

The Hokule’a, a Polynesian voyaging canoe, will visit the Chesapeake Bay region in April.

Science Behind the Law Seminar

Science Behind the Law Seminar

Dr. R. Christian Jones and Ms. Margaret (Peggy) Sanner, Esq. will explain the science and legal requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load at the Science Museum of Virginia on March 23 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

Accomplished Virginia Environmental Attorney Joins VCPC Leadership

Accomplished Virginia Environmental Attorney Joins VCPC Leadership

Elizabeth Andrews will join William & Mary Law School as a professor and co-director of the Virginia Coastal Policy Center in February.

Hampton University Architecture Students Combat Flooding with Design (VIDEOS)

Hampton University Architecture Students Combat Flooding with Design (VIDEOS)

Architecture students at Hampton University gained work experience designing ways to protect historic houses in a local neighborhood from sea level rise.

ODU Engineering Student Discusses His Experience Designing a Resilient Neighborhood (VIDEO)

ODU Engineering Student Discusses His Experience Designing a Resilient Neighborhood (VIDEO)

Old Dominion University engineering students gained real world work experience adapting a local neighborhood to sea level rise.

VCPC Student Examines Vulnerability of South East Newport News

VCPC Student Examines Vulnerability of South East Newport News

By Sydney MaHan, Student Corresponent Sarah Edwards first heard of the Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) when looking at potential law schools. The Center was one of main factors that influenced her decision to attend William & Mary. “The more I read about this [center], the more I knew that William & Mary was the […]

VCPC Student Examines Land Use in Southeast Community

VCPC Student Examines Land Use in Southeast Community

By Sydney MaHan, Student Correspondent Referring to herself, Jennifer Morris jokes, “she has been in school a long time.” Having a PhD in Art History and Archeology, Morris came to law school to jump-start her career in cultural heritage law, and she hopes to work for the government or a non-profit upon graduation. “For me […]

Professors Cross University Lines to Adapt Community to Sea Level Rise

Professors Cross University Lines to Adapt Community to Sea Level Rise

ODU and Hampton University engineers and architects have worked together before. But after the year-long effort to adapt a coastal community to deal with flooding, professors intend to keep the collaboration going!

Industry Experts, Researchers, and the Power of Teamwork: A recent publication

Industry Experts, Researchers, and the Power of Teamwork: A recent publication

As a graduate student in North Carolina, VASG’s post-doc fellow Amy Freitag reviewed 15 Fisheries Resource Grant projects funded by the state to study how scientists and fisheries professionals collaborated.

Professionals and Students Learn and Work Together on Emerging Field of Coastal Adaptation

Professionals and Students Learn and Work Together on Emerging Field of Coastal Adaptation

The Chesterfield Heights project has accomplished feats beyond flood control—it helped to develop a local community of practice for adaptation.

Litigating the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, a VCPC Guest Speaker

Litigating the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, a VCPC Guest Speaker

Jon Mueller, Vice President of Litigation for CBF talked with VCPC students about the litigation surrounding the hotly contested Chesapeake Bay TMDL.

Local Government Lawyering: VCPC Guest Discusses the Art of Compromise

Local Government Lawyering: VCPC Guest Discusses the Art of Compromise

Vanessa Valldejuli shares her experiences in local government as City Attorney for Hampton, VA.

ODU Engineering Students Tackle Sea-Level Adaptations for a Historic Neighborhood

ODU Engineering Students Tackle Sea-Level Adaptations for a Historic Neighborhood

“Instead of installing pumps or a lot of big berms and hard engineering, we wanted to figure out how we could make the landscape absorb more water.”

Hampton University Students Design Sea-Level Updates for Historic Neighborhood

Hampton University Students Design Sea-Level Updates for Historic Neighborhood

Architecture students design new ways to control water and build resilience to flooding without sacrificing the historic character of the neighborhood.

Forum 10 (Oct. 30, 2015): Beyond Toolkits - Adaptation Strategies and Lessons

Forum 10 (Oct. 30, 2015): Beyond Toolkits – Adaptation Strategies and Lessons

Experts may not have all the answers about how to prepare for flooding and sea level rise, but they know many of the right questions.

VCPC Examines Transferable Development Rights

VCPC Examines Transferable Development Rights

This fall, two VCPC students are working together to write a white paper examining what a successful and sustainable local transfer of development rights ordinance (TDR) should look like.

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