Assessing the Decision-making Process in Wetlands Resources Management in Virginia This study is the first step in trying to elucidate how local wetland boards have balanced the environmental charge (for which they have significant guidance) with the socioeconomic charge, where there is nothing available beyond a requirement in the act to accommodate this factor. The study aims to provide an assessment of the extent to which social and economic issues are currently incorporated in the decision-making process by the local wetlands boards, and to suggest a preliminary framework for incorporating social and economic considerations in the wetlands decision-making process. This framework is only the first step in suggesting key social and economic elements that should be considered. Further development and tests should be performed to evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of this framework in the near future.
Development of a Virginia Nontidal Wetlands Database This tool uses GIS to target sites in the landscape suitable for wetland creation. It has application for wetland restoration or mitigation projects. The tool outputs selected sites based on five suitability parameters: presence of hydric soils, presence of hydrology, adjacency to existing wetlands, existing landuse and the opportunity for landscape conversion, and proximity to designated conservation areas.
Interagency Shoreline Management Consensus Document This project to develop a consensus position from a VIMS perspective, with funding from the Virginia Coastal Program, may serve as the initiation of an effort to develop consensus guidance on shoreline management that integrates the issues and concerns extant in the various independent management programs in Virginia.
Wetlands Guidelines Revisions The Center for Coastal Resources Management, VIMS, has undertaken an initiative to provide integrated scientific guidance for better-informed decision-making regarding Virginia’s shoreline systems. We are working on a revised Wetland Guidelines document on a parallel track with our on-going comprehensive guidance initiative. The Wetlands Guidelines will be based upon the current scientific understanding of the ecology of wetlands and role in the landscape. The document will provide an overview of the state of the science and identify environmental preferences and supporting rationale for shoreline management options.