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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.


Stephanie Smallegan. ©VASG

Graduate Fellow Studies Storm Damage on Assateague Island

During her fellowship, Stephanie will study the effects of storm damage on coastal environments.

View of the Severn River from the property. ©VASG

VCU Professors Lay Plans to Revitalize Middle Peninsula Waterfront

On June 20, a group of professors from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) took the first step toward revitalizing a rural tidewater waterfront property far removed from the hustle and bustle of Richmond, Virginia.

Jennifer Murray-McClain sits in on University-Community Partnership meeting. ©Chelsea Carter/VASG

Fellow Investigates Ways to Partner Universities with Community

To strengthen economic development in the area, Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC) and Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) are investigating ways to get Virginia universities to partner with the community.

Thomas Wysong © Julia Robins/VASG.

Aberdeen Creek Seeks Maintanence, Funding

Thomas Wysong, Virginia Sea Grant Policy Intern, is looking for a way to dredge Aberdeen Creek with a policy that doesn’t raise taxes, doesn’t divert current funds, and distributes revenue fairly.

Bird Island, FL, August 21, 2008 -- Houses on Sea Gate Circle in the North Brevard County community are locked in by the flooding from Tropical Storm Fay. State and Federal teams have started assessing the extent of damage caused by the slow storm throughout the Central Coastal and North Central regions of Florida. Barry Bahler/FEMA © VASG.

CRS Makes Reducing Individual Flood Insurance a Community Effort

Tom Wittig is investigating ways for local communities to gain credit through CRS and hopes to explain how communities can earn credit from sea level rise adaptation efforts.

Assateague Island, VA

How Do Barrier Islands Respond to Hurricanes?

  The creation of a channel on a barrier island and the landward transport of sediment during storms have the potential to devastate coastal environments. Using a numerical model, Stephanie Smallegan of Virginia Tech will investigate the processes that govern these occurrences on Assateague Island, VA. Findings may improve predictive tools for storm damage, helping […]

Coastal Tourism Business Development Summer Internship for Grad Students

Coastal Tourism Business Development Summer Internship for Grad Students

Deadline: May 16, 2014 Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) and Chesapeake Environmental Communications (CEC) are pleased to announce the availability of an 8-10 week summer internship for graduate students in business development ($5,000 stipend). A graduate student with a business and/or marketing background will support research to assess the market feasibility and growth potential of a […]

Clinic Reviews How New FEMA Maps Will Change VA Flood Policies

Clinic Reviews How New FEMA Maps Will Change VA Flood Policies

By Julia Robins, Virginia Sea Grant Student Correspondent New floodplain maps could change the way Virginia’s localities handle flooding risk and flood insurance. Virginia Sea Grant-sponsored Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic (VCPC) at The College of William and Mary Law School is helping localities get ready. The updated maps are part of the National Flood Insurance […]

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.

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