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Category for Coastal Communities


What We Do


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.


Jie (Jessica) Hou.

Law Students Compare Fisheries to Local Government

Externs compared fisheries management plans with local land use ordinances to see to what extent fisheries policy and local government align.

More than 140 people attended the Working Waterfronts Workshop at Virginia Institute of Marine Science and more were patched in remotely to the Eastern Shore Community College. ©Joy Staley/VASG

Search for ‘Pioneers’ of Working Waterfronts Begins at Workshop

The February 26, 2014, workshop discussed some of the challenges facing waterfront businesses today.

Storm Destruction Less Random Than You May Think

Storm Destruction Less Random Than You May Think

When a storm hits, households don’t get hit equally. In fact, says Shannon Van Zandt, low-income households usually get hit the hardest.

Funding Announcement : Waterfront Property Reuse Plan

Funding Announcement : Waterfront Property Reuse Plan

Virginia Sea Grant and Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission are seeking innovative reuse ideas for a suite of waterfront properties through a student-faculty research team project.

VASG Reaches Out for Potential CSF Leaders in Williamsburg

VASG Reaches Out for Potential CSF Leaders in Williamsburg

To help launch a CSF, Virginia Sea Grant is inviting anyone interested to submit a Statement of Interest by January 10, 2013. (You can find the Instructions and form here: http://bit.ly/vasg-csf-lead )

Guest Column Urges Preparation for Flooding, Climate Change

Guest Column Urges Preparation for Flooding, Climate Change

Skip Stiles, Executive Director of Wetlands Watch in Norfolk, discusses priorities and current efforts, including those funded by Virginia Sea Grant, to handle sea level rise in Virginia.

Flooding Conference Discusses Legal, Scientific, and Policy Issues

Flooding Conference Discusses Legal, Scientific, and Policy Issues

Elected and military officials, attorneys, scientists, business leaders, and citizens attend the ‘sold-out’ Adaptive Planning for Flooding and Coastal Change conference.

UVA Bay Game Wins National Award

UVA Bay Game Wins National Award

UVA Today June 10, 2013 Virginia Sea Grant is proud to have helped support the UVA Bay Game, an interactive simulation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Game received the Leveraging Excellence Award from the National Consortium for Continuous Improvement of Higher Education.

VA Shellfish farming leads in clam production nation wide. ©Stephanie Chavez/VASG

Shellfish Farming Adds $81M to the Commonwealth

Report of shellfish farming activity finds that oyster and clam farming in VA contributes $81.2 million to the state and added employment of 925 in 2012.

Flooding in Hampton Roads during Nor'Easter Ida. ©Olivia Hauser

Coastal Flooding Forum Helps Hampton Roads Prepare

The Adaptation Forum is a workshop for city, regional, and federal officials to share best practices for communicating the risks and realities of coastal inundation to local communities, a process that has proven challenging despite the realized destruction caused by Nor’easters and hurricanes of the last couple of years.

Erica Penn

Summer Law Fellows Join Coastal Policy Clinic

Two Virginia Sea Grant Law Fellows will be working with the Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic (VCPC) this summer. The fellows will assist VCPC Director Shana Jones in preparing and presenting policy memos to the Virginia coastal localities of Norfolk and Poquoson and coordinating the conference, Adaptive Planning for Flooding and Coastal Change in Virginia: Legal […]

Many homeowners in the lowlying community of Poquoson, VA, have raised their houses to protect them from frequent floods. ©Janet Krenn/VASG

Law Students Help Virginia Communities Prepare for Sea-Level Rise

The Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic is a partnership between William & Mary Law School and Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) that allows students to learn about coastal science and policy while addressing issues facing Virginia coastal communities.

Innovations like permeable pavement are part of the future of sustainable water policy, but incentivizing and spreading innovation is a major policy challenge. © Achim Hering

Visiting Scholar Discusses Diffusion and Adoption of Innovation

How do we get scientific innovations to the people who need them? Dr. Dale Manty of the EPA recently shared his thoughts on sustainability and innovation as a Visiting Scholar Seminar Speaker.

Clam beds on Virginia's Eastern Shore. ©Kathryn Greves/VASG

Mapping Opportunities for Aquaculture Expansion

As aquaculture efforts expand in Virginia and Maryland, the potential for use conflicts between aquaculture and other uses of the Bay is also growing. The goal of this project is to update a model that maps preferred areas for aquaculture development. In addition, a map viewer will be developed to allows managers to monitor and […]

Clams. ©Kathryn Greves/VASG

Shellfish Aquaculture Continues Growth

Virginia’s shellfish growers sold 28.1 million oysters and 171 million clams in 2012, according to an annual survey of shellfish aquaculture operations in the state. Those numbers represent a 21 percent increase in oyster sales, while clam sales have remained fairly stable over the past few years.

The “Virginia Shellfish Aquaculture Situation and Outlook Report” has been produced annually by

Working Waterfronts Toolkit Helps Local Communities Share Solutions

Working Waterfronts Toolkit Helps Local Communities Share Solutions

The National Working Waterfronts Network (NWWN) website has been expanded to include case studies, a searchable financing database, economic analysis, law and policy tools, and a historical overview of waterfront trends, all designed to help communities across the U.S. share problems and solutions for managing and improving their local waterfront infrastructure.

Leslie Albright (right) accepts the Special Recognition Award presented by Virginia Sea Grant Director Troy Hartley on behalf of the Sea Grant Association.

Congressman Frank R. Wolf Recognized for Commitment to Coasts

Congressman Frank R. Wolf of Virginia’s 10th district received a Special Recognition Award for his exemplary support of the National Sea Grant College Program.

The 3rd National Working Waterfronts Conference will take place in Tacoma, WA, March 25-28, 2013. This photo shows the port of Tacoma in the shadow of Mount Rainier. ©Boran28/Wikimedia Commons

VA Working Waterfronts Study Presented at National Conference

Virginia Sea Grant Extension partners will present the findings of their efforts to map and prioritize working waterfronts in Virginia and Maryland at the nation’s third Working Waterfronts Conference this March. The session “A Case Study on Successful Research and Extension in the Chesapeake Bay” will be lead by Extension Leader and Virginia Institute of Marine Science Economist Tom Murray.

©Margaret Pizer/VASG

Law Symposium Tackles Bay Issues

An impressive lineup of law, policy, and science experts spoke on March 15 and 16 at the Virginia Chesapeake Coastal Law & Policy Symposium. The Symposium was organized by the students in William & Mary Law School’s Environmental Law Society, Environmental Law and Policy Review and the new Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic and will form the […]

Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic Partners with Virginia Sea Grant

Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic Partners with Virginia Sea Grant

Virginia Sea Grant is proud to have entered a partnership with William & Mary Law School’s new Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic (VCPC). The VCPC offers law students the opportunity to work with leading Virginia scientists and develop solutions for some of the most challenging environmental questions facing policymakers today. Examining issues ranging from property rights to […]

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