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Publications: Completed and Ongoing Projects - Alphabetically by Project

- Or Sorted Alphabetically by Principal Investigator

APNEP State of the Chowan & Pasquotank River Basin Study (715431)
PI: Havens
Funding Agency: APNEP
Period: 5/17/10 – 12/31/10
Amount: $25,000

This work will be a continuation of the Data Inventory and State of the River Basin Project conducted by VIMS for APNEP in FY 2009.  This work will focus on refining in the preliminary ecosystem health indicators developed in Phase I, expand the data inventory developed for the Chowan and Pasquotank River basins, and work towards developing an ecosystem report card for the entire APNEP region.

APNEP State of the Chowan & Pasquotank River Basin Study (715261)
PI: Havens
Funding Agency: DCR
Period: 3/31/10 – 9/30/10
Amount: $25,000

This work will be a continuation of the Data Inventory and State of the River Basin Project conducted by VIMS for APNEP in FY 2009.  This work will focus on refining in the preliminary ecosystem health indicators developed in Phase I, expand the data inventory developed for the Chowan and Pasquotank River basins to include Virginia water quality data, and work towards developing an ecosystem report card for the entire APNEP region.

APNEP Technical Support for EBM (715661)
PI: Havens
Funding Agency: APNEP
Period: 7/01/10 – 12/31/10
Amount: $35,000

Facilitate and support ongoing work by the APNEP EBM workgroup in developing APNEP Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan.

Assessing the Potential for Climate- Driven Changes in Virginia’s Shallow Tidal Water Habitats
PIs: Hershner, Berman, Bilkovic, Jasinski
Funding Agency: NOAA Chesapeake Bay Program
Period: 10/01/07-9/30/08
Amount: $120,000

This project is designed to support enhanced stewardship of critical estuarine resources – shallow water habitats. The proposed work will involve integration of a wide variety of data regarding the littoral and riparian areas along Virginia’s estuarine shorelines. The objective is to develop a characterization of current habitat components in the shallow water areas of the Commonwealth. This information will then be used as the basis for modeling potential future conditions in these areas as climate change and development exert their influences.

Assessment of Aquaculture Potential Within Baylor Grounds in the Lower Rappahannock River
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: VA Coastal Zone Management
Period: 10/30/07-9/30/08
Amount: $60,000

The suitability for using public Baylor grounds for aquaculture is being explored through a GIS based analysis to determine if areas could support aquaculture given current condition and surrounding land-use.

Link to Report

Blue Crab Mortality in the Chesapeake Bay Due to Derelict “Ghost” Crab Pots
PIs: Havens, Bilkovic, Stanhope, Angstadt
Funding Agency: NOAA / National Fish & Wildlife Foundation
Period: 01/10/07 – 12/31/07
Amount: $35,022

This project investigates blue crab mortality rates associated with abandoned or derelict blue crab traps in the Chesapeake Bay including the ‘self-baiting’ phenomenon of derelict traps. The study is both field and laboratory based.

Link to website

Building Capacity to Perform Wetland Assessment in Maryland
PIs: Hershner, Berman
Funding Agency: MD Department of Natural Resources
Period: 3/07-3/08
Amount: $40,925

This project applies a level 1 non-tidal wetlands assessment protocol for evaluating
conditions of wetlands and probably ecosystem function.

By-Catch Reduction Strategies for Commercial and Recreational Blue Crab Fisheries (71515A)
PI: Bilkovic, Havens
Funding Agency: NOAA
Period: 2/01/11 – 1/31/12
Amount: $28870

PI: Hershner, Reay
Funding Agency: PSU/NOAA/EPA
Period: 10/1/02 – 3/30/06
Amount: $60,000

This project involves collaboration with researchers from Penn State University, Rhode Island University, and Carnegie Mellon University. The Center’s role is facilitation of a case study of climate change and land use change information use in Hampton Roads, VA. The project is intended to result in development of a climate change center that can provide web-based information of maximum utility to local planners and decision makers.

Link to website

Chesapeake Bay Dune Systems Evolution and Status
PIs: Varnell, Hardaway
Funding Agency: VA Coastal Program
Period: 10/01/00 - 09/30/05
Amount: $530,000

This project combines GIS, GPS, remote sensing, ground surveys, and applied knowledge of sandy shorelines to map and classify the primary and secondary dune and beach systems in Virginia’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay. Analyses of vegetation, grain size, and offshore bathymetry complement beach and dune geomorphology to create a holistic assessment for managers, researchers, planners, and waterfront property owners. Analyses of management structure and history are combined with physical attributes to critique management effectiveness and develop policy recommendations. Products include comprehensive locality-specific inventories, shoreline change models, management guidelines, and a geologic-based classification system for estuarine dune fields. Text and digital reports are available. For more information see VIMS Shoreline Studies.

Link to more info

Climate Impacts in VA: Status of Natural Resource Data Records as Tools to Assess Continuing Trends
PI: Berman, Hershner
Funding Agency: VA Environmental Endowment
Period: 04/01/2008-01/31/2010
Amount: $40,000

This project reviews existing databases that contain information which would be useful for assessing trends in natural resources which may be driven by climate change impacts.  The final product will be a bibliography of sources that span academic, private, federal, state, and local government agencies.

Climate Change Database Clearinghouse

Climate Change Database Report

Coastal Maritime Forests in Virginia - Delineation and Distribution

PI: Berman
Funding Agency: VA Coastal Zone Management Program
Period: 2/1/2006-3/31/2007
Amount: $37,500

This project delineates coastal maritime forests using remote sensing techniques. Fieldwork conducted by the Department of Forestry validates the delineation. A website will be generated to display mapped forest cover and report the distribution of coastal maritime forest habitat in Virginia on a county by county basis.

Link to Maritime Forest Project

Comprehensive Shoreline Inventory for the State of Maryland
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA/MD DNR
Period: 8/01/02 – 9/28/06
Amount: $340,000

This project involves application of the shoreline inventory protocols developed by the Center to all of the tidal shoreline in Maryland. The resultant data base provides a spatially explicit inventory of shoreline condition, resources, and structures in a GIS accessible format. The project involves extensive field work to complete boat surveys of the shoreline with advanced GPS equipment.

Link to Project

Constructing Probability Surfaces of Ecological Change in Coastal Aquatic Systems through Retrospective Analysis of Phragmites australis Invasion and Expansion.
PIs: Wardrop, Whigham, Havens
Funding Agency: US EPA
Period: 2/1/05-1/31/07
Amount: $299,995 (VIMS $29,317)

The project will develop a unique analytical method, which involves constructing a probability surface, which can be used to identify thresholds for the transition of coastal marshes to dominance by Phragmites. Any set of conditions can then be placed upon the probability surface, allowing the statistical method to be used in a predictive fashion. The method could be applied to a wide variety of aquatic ecosystems for which state changes occur over either a spatial and temporal extent, or both.

Link to website

A Critique of Existing Methodologies for Developing Shoreline Management Plans for Local Governments (715301)
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA
Period: 1/15/10 – 12/31/10
Amount: $24,000

This project evaluates costs and benefits of two different approaches for providing guidance to local governments on shoreline protection strategies.  Stakeholders in the process were surveyed for input and a review of consistency, efficiency and product accuracy was undertaken.  Final report will be submitted to the VA Coastal Zone Management Program upon completion.

Derelict Blue Crab Trap Removal (714241)
PIs: Havens, Bilkovic
Funding Agency: NOAA/VMRC
Period: 12/1/08 – 11/30/11
Amount: $1,064,600

Discarded debris such as tires, gill nets, appliances, and crab pots can be found throughout the tidal waters of Virginia. Derelict crab pots may remain in the environment for years and continue to capture and kill fish, shellfish, birds and marine mammals including endangered or threatened species. It is estimated that around 20% of crab pots deployed are lost each season and each functional lost crab pot can continue to capture about a bushel of market-sized crabs per season. There is an environmental benefit in removing marine debris from Virginia’s waters if the removal can be accomplished safely and without damaging the marine habitat and ecosystem. This project includes work specifically aimed at removing marine debris from Virginia’s tidal waters with the assistance of watermen. Watermen who would have been eligible to participate in the 2008/2009 crab dredge season (this season was closed by VMRC in April 2008) were invited to participate in the program. Eight additional watermen were added to the program to allow for surveying in shallow water areas. A total of seventy participants will survey the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay. The participants will record the bay-catch associated with the over derelict crab pots that are removed.

For detailed information, including specific maps showing the location of all removed items to date visit http://ccrm.vims.edu/marine_debris_removal/

Design and Construction of Living Shorelines: Course Development and Implementation
PIs: Hardaway, Milligan, Duhring
Funding Agency: NOAA/DEQ
Period: 10/01/09 - 9/30/10
Amount: $12,869

A 1-day course on the practical design and construction of living shorelines projects was held in September 2010 for marine contractors and design consultants.  The course curriculum included a recently completed design manual that was complimented with site-specific case studies and design lessons.  The class also worked through the design process for particular locations.  Certificates of completion were awarded to course participants after completing a test to demonstrate their understanding of the materials presented.  A field trip to the new VIMS living shoreline project was also conducted to learn how this particular project was designed and constructed.   A web site was created to provide a one-stop clearinghouse for various tools and references from the course for future reference.

Determination of Minimal Instream Flow for Recreational Use
PIs: Havens, Hershner, Berquist
Funding Agency: inhouse
Period: ongoing
Amount: n/a

Recreational canoeists established a network of gages in the 1970’s that reflect stream levels on Virginia’s rivers. This network of gages depicts at what level canoeing would become impracticable. As such, this is a potential measure of minimal instream flow requirements for recreational boating. This project uses the established network of gages and GPS technology to tie them to elevation benchmarks in order to relate the depicted stream levels to USGS stream gage data.

Developing a curriculum for a living shorelines education course for project designers and contractors
PI: Havens, Roggero and Bradshaw
Funding Agency: Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund
Period: 7/01/07 – 04/01/09
Amount: $14,000

This project involves designing curriculum for a course to educate shoreline project designers and contractors about the use of “Living shoreline” designs.  The course stresses the reasoning behind the recommended design criteria, so that participants learn why the designs function naturally, not just how to build them.  The course also stresses interactions between the upland riparian zone, the wetlands and the aquatic system – three areas that are functionally integrated and tend to be impacted by shoreline projects.

Project Link

Development of DO TMDL for Onancock Creek
PIs: Shen, Herman
Funding Agency: Department of Environmental Quality
Period: 11/1/03 – 7/1/05
Amount: $62,812

Low dissolved oxygen (DO) is often observed in eutrophic waters that receive excessive nutrients and organic matter. DO levels below state water quality standards require the development of a total maximum daily load (TMDL) to determine the reductions needed to meet the water quality standard. The North Branch of Onancock Creek, located on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, is impaired for DO. This project involves the development of a 3-D hydrodynamic and water quality model to determine various scenarios for source allocations between point and nonpoint sources.

Link to Final Report

Development of Maryland’s Living Shoreline Inventory Training Manual
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: MD Department of Natural Resources
Period: 3/30/07 - 7/30/07
Amount: $9,600

This project developed a training manual to guide end users in the use and dissemination of data contained within the Shoreline Inventories developed for Worcester County Maryland.

Development of Mathews Digital Maritime Heritage and Water Trail Guide for the East River (773021)
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: Mathews Maritime Foundation
Period: 1/01/10 – 9/30/10
Amount: $5,000

The Mathews Maritime Heritage Trail is a partnership project initiated in January 2009 to preserve the valued coastal landscape, and tell the colorful history of Mathews County’s nautical heritage.  An interactive map interface was developed for the East River in Mathews to provide an opportunity for individuals on the water to learn about the historic maritime sites that can be viewed while navigating the river.   The site is available to the public at this url: http://ccrm.vims.edu/gis_data_maps/static_maps/mathews_watertrail/index.html.

Development of Nontidal Wetland Inventory, Functional Assessment, and Monitoring Strategy for Virginia
PIs: Hershner, Havens, O’Brien
Funding Agency: USEPA/Virginia DEQ
Period: 10/1/03 – 9/30/06
Amount: $606,405

This project develops and implements a three level assessment protocol for nontidal wetlands in Virginia. This is the first phase of a series of projects which are intended to provide assessments across all of Virginia. In this project a level I – GIS based assessment will be completed on all wetlands mapped by the National Wetlands Inventory in Virginia. Level II assessments involving field assessments of stressors will be initiated in the coastal plain of Virginia. Level III assessments will involve detailed analysis of habitat and water quality functions on selected sites.

Link to Final Report

Development of a Nontidal Wetland Inventory and Monitoring Strategy for Virginia – Completion of Phase II (Coastal Plain and Piedmont Physiographic Provinces)
PIs: Havens, Hershner, Bilkovic, Stanhope, Angstadt
Funding Agency: Environmental Protection Agency / VA Department of Environmental
Period: 1/01/07 – 12/31/07
Funding: $95,245

This project develops and implements a three level assessment protocol for non-tidal wetlands in Virginia. In this project Level II assessments involving field assessments of stressors were conducted in the Piedmont of Virginia. Level III assessments involving detailed analysis of habitat and water quality functions on selected coastal plain sites were also undertaken.

Development of Shoreline Inventories for Delaware

PI: Berman
Funding Agency: DE Department of the Environment and Environmental Control
Period: 6/1/07-2/30/08
Amount: $30,000

This project generates a shoreline inventory for three watersheds in the state of Delaware: St. Jones, Appaquinamink, and Blackbird Creeks.

Link to website

Ecological and Socioeconomic Indicators for Integrated Assessment of Aquatic Ecosystems of the Atlantic Slope
PIs: Hershner, Havens, Bilkovic, Varnell, Berman
Funding Agency: US EPA
Period: 4/01/01 – 2/18/06
Amount: (F) $1,163,435

Project objectives are to 1) develop and test ecological and socioeconomic indicators of aquatic resource condition, construct models that use environmental, geographic, and stressor data to predict indicator responses, and use models to link upstream watersheds and downstream estuaries. 2) Develop large scale measures for characterizing landscape attributes and land-use patterns to serve as predictors of a range of environmental conditions. 3) Deliver a nested suite of indicators to managers, where the implications of aggregating models at various scales are considered, and for which reliability is known. This is a collaborative project with Pennsylvania State University, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, East Carolina University, and the Environmental Law Institute.

Link to Final Report

Ecosystem Approaches to Aquatic Health Assessment: Linking subtidal habitat quality, shoreline conditions and estuarine fish communities
PIs: Bilkovic, Hershner
Funding Agency: NOAA/NCBO
Period: 3/01/05 – 5/1/06
Amount: $113,344

In the Chesapeake Bay, there is currently no comprehensive assessment of aquatic habitat heterogeneity or understanding of the effects of multiple stressors on the viability of these habitats. This project tests the use of side-scan sonar technology as a tool to define subtidal nearshore habitat in two representative watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay. Resulting habitat information was used to determine if specific subtidal habitats are associated with shoreline condition and/or nearshore fish communities in the James River. To accomplish this, we collected and mapped detailed information on nearshore subtidal habitat, surveyed nearshore fish communities, and compared available quantitative shoreline inventory information. Sonar images revealed limited vertical structure in the surveyed nearshore of the James River. Fish assemblages responded to changes in developed lands at multiple spatial scales. Fish community integrity was reduced in areas with highly altered shorelines (bulkhead), and when developed riparian lands were greater than 23%. Additionally, there was a reduction in subtidal structure when adjacent shoreline conditions were altered. Land use and shoreline condition may be effective representations of integrative measures of stress that relay the state of degradation in a system.

Link to Project Page

Effects of Sea Level Rise on Tidal Wetlands
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: VA Environmental Endowment
Period: 10/1/07-9/30/2008
Amount: $31,462

This project maps the anticipated loss of tidal wetlands habitat in the Lynnhaven River watershed attributed to sea level rise. The project uses remote sensing techniques and high-resolution imagery to delineate current wetlands distribution. High resolution elevation data generated from LIDAR will be used to compute the horizontal and vertical inundation due to sea level rise.

Erosion Vulnerability Assessment and Planning Tool
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: United States Army Corps of Engineers - Baltimore District
Period: 08/01/06 - 06/01/08
Amount: $126,776

The Erosion Vulnerability Assessment (EVA) and Planning Tool was initiated
to assist with decision making along the Chesapeake Bay portion of Maryland's tidal shoreline.  EVA is an assessment of ecological and socioeconomic resources that may be vulnerable to shoreline erosion processes occurring along the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay. The analysis uses historic shoreline change rates combined with an inventory of current shoreline conditions to predict the position of the shoreline in 50-years.  The location of various resources with respect to that predicted 50-year shoreline was evaluated, and an interactive map tool was produced for visual display and data access.

Link to Project

Estuarine Blue Infrastructure: Priority Conservation Areas for the Virginia Portion of the Chesapeake Bay and the Seaside of the Eastern Shore (714911, 714921, 714961)
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA
Period: 9/01/09 – 3/31/10
Amount: $78,350

Using GIS, aquatic resources will be mapped to identify areas of ecological richness within Virginia’s estuaries and bays. The project will collect and disseminate resource information from a variety of agencies, map their distribution and collectively assess areas supporting a large number of aquatic habitat or species. Linkages between these areas and areas defined as high priority conservation areas on the upland will be generated to determine potential aquatic zones for conservation or preservation. The project contributes to Virginia’s ongoing efforts to identify and prioritize conservation opportunities within the watershed.

Link to Project

Estuarine Suspended Sediment Loads and Sediment Budgets in Tributaries of Chesapeake Bay
PI: Herman
Funding Agency:Army Corps of Engineers
Period: 10/01/08 - 09/30/09
Amount: $48,868
Period: 5/01/09 - 09/30/09
Amount: $29,000

The goals of this project are to calculate sediment transport processes, suspended sediment loads and sediment budgets for the estuarine portions of major tributaries of Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and Maryland. The initial phase will target the York River, VA and the Patuxent River, MD. The second phase calculates sediment loads and several components of the sediment budget for the Potomac River, MD.

The final report and a more detailed description of the project are available at:

Evaluating Ecological & Erosion Protection Functions of Chesapeake Bay Living Shorelines (773241)
PIs: Bilkovic, Roggero
Funding Agency: Chesapeake Bay Trust
Period: 7/15/10-12/31/11
Amount: $50,000

Living shoreline habitat restoration activities are typically designed to control erosion, while simultaneously enhancing estuarine habitats. Expected outcomes are shoreline protection, estuarine habitat creation in the intertidal, beach and subaqueous zones, and enhanced habitat services for fauna and flora communities. However, some questions are yet unanswered in regards to the effectiveness of living shorelines at meeting expected ecological or erosion protection goals. We recently began research to evaluate living shorelines in Maryland and Virginia. Several shoreline types (marsh-sill, natural marsh, intertidal flats, and riprap revetment) will be intensely surveyed to distinguish differences in ecosystem function as well as erosion control. Project results will enhance our understanding and inform regulators on the trade-offs involved in habitat conversion associated with various shoreline protection techniques (i.e. living shoreline, riprap revetment).

Evaluating Efforts, Outcomes and Next Steps for Native Oyster Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: CRC / NOAA / Campbell
Period: 3/30/07-9/30/07
Amount: $27,716

This project assembles, collates, and georeferences existing oyster restoration databases among major programs and agencies in Virginia. The project develops and populates a geo-database framework to manage the data over time.

Facilitation of the Development of a Prototype Integrated Ecological Assessment (IEA) Approach for the Chesapeake Bay
PIs: Hershner, Bilkovic
Funding Agency:NOAA Chesapeake Bay Program
Period: 10/01/07-9/30/08
Amount: $30,000

Integrated assessments are defined by NOAA as ‘a synthesis and quantitative analysis of information on relevant, physical, chemical, ecological, and human processes in relation to specified ecosystem management objectives’. Inherent in the
process of developing integrated assessments is the potential for compounded errors from the use of multiple datasets of varying sources, scales (temporal and spatial), and methodology. To ensure reduction of possible errors and transparency in any analytical assumptions, protocols for development of IEAs need to be developed. This project will review data interpolation and analysis issues encountered in a pilot project that will assess the potential for climate-driven changes shallow tidal water habitat, and work toward development of guidance for future iterations of IEAs in the region.

Field Inventory of Phragmites
PIs: Berman, Havens
Funding Agency: various, inhouse
Period: ongoing

The delineation of Phragmites along tidal shorelines is being collected in conjunction with data for the Shoreline Situation Reports. Analysis of status and trends in distribution will be used in management and policy recommendations.

Link to Project

Floating Treatment Wetlands
PIs: Duhring
Funding Agency: W&M Committee on Sustainability
Period: 10/28/11-10/28/12
Amount: $8,000

A floating wetland project was recently completed at VIMS.  These platforms support wetland plants that improve water quality, benefit wildlife, and look good.  This was a Green Fees project funded by the College’s Committee on Sustainabililty.

Garden Club of America Scholarship
PI: Hershner, Reay, Bradshaw
Funding Agency: Garden Club of America
Period: annual (2000 to present)
Amount: $500

The Center manages the annual advertisement, review, and selection of recipients for the Garden Club of America Scholarship for Wetland Studies. The award is a one-year scholarship for graduate studies in coastal wetlands and carries a stipend of $5,000 to support field-based research. The Garden Club of America has provided several awards to ranked applicants in past years. Applications are reviewed and ranked by a selection committee of practicing wetland scientists and makes recommendations to the GCA for that year’s awards. Awards are open to any graduate student undertaking a field-oriented study of tidal or nontidal wetlands found within coastal states, including the Great Lakes. Applicants should be enrolled at a university within the United States.

Link to webpage

GIS Conversion of VMRC Fisheries Management Areas
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA/CRMP
Period: 6/01/05-12/31/05
Amount: $30,000

This project generates a GIS database of the location of Virginia’s managed fisheries areas within the Bay. Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs) within Virginia include artificial reefs, sanctuaries, oyster reefs, and important finfish spawning grounds, to name a few. They are the cornerstone of the Federal government’s Marine Managed Areas Inventory for Virginia. FMAs are surveyed, managed, and regulated by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. In a cooperative project between VIMS and VMRC, these data have been converted to GIS formats for integration into other state and federal aquatic management initiatives. Among them is Blue Infrastructure, which collects and disseminates aquatic resource data in an interactive GIS format accessible through the Internet. Virginia’s FMA boundaries and database have been added to Blue Infrastructure as a project deliverable.

Link to Project

Geographic Information Support to Chesapeake Bay Erosion Feasibility Study, Maryland
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: Baltimore District US Army Corps of Engineers
Period: 8/8/2006-1/31/2008
Amount: $125,000

This project determines the risk to natural habitat (beaches and marshes), and socioeconomic resources that can be attributed to shoreline erosion. The project also looks at the influence boat wake activity has on shoreline erosion in protected embayments. The degree of vulnerability will be determined using a GIS based spatial model. The output will be displayed in an interactive map environment.

Link to Project

Geo-spatial assessment of activities occurring on privately leased state-owned bottom - seaside of Virginia’s Eastern Shore (716271)
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA/DEQ
Period: 6/01/2011-12/31/2011
Amount $26,500

Opening Baylor ground for commercial activity to enhance available bottom for aquaculture is spurred by the notion that bottom resources are limited.  A major question that remains unanswered is how much of the current state-owned bottom retained in private leases for the purpose of shell fishing is actually being utilized?  The scope of work proposed for this project is to link two databases to answer some basic questions regarding the status of private lease activity and harvests in Virginia.

Guidebook Hydrogeomorphic Wetlands Assessment
PI: Havens
Funding Agency: EPA/HGM
Period: 10/01/08 – 9/30/11
Amount: $77,747

The objective of this project is to develop a finalized HGM guidebook for coastal plain flats in the Mid-Atlantic. The Mid-Atlantic flats guidebook will provide guidance in determining functions associated with flats for use in the regional regulatory programs. The project task is to combine HGM guidance developed in Delaware and Virginia into a guidebook for the Mid-Atlantic. The final product is a Regional HGM Guidebook for Coastal Plain Flats.

Habitat Restoration Options for Generating Stations Virginia Dominion Power
PIs: Hershner, Bilkovic, Roggero
Funding Agency: CH2MHill
Period: 08/01/06-12/31/06
Amount: $80,000

Environmental compensation for impingement and entrainment (I&E) losses in cooling water intakes can take three basic forms: 1) replacement of lost individuals; 2) enhancement of aquatic habitat to increase system productivity/condition; or 3) enhancement of watershed conditions to improve general aquatic ecosystem condition. In each case the objective is to restore the population of impacted aquatic species, and to compensate for the ecosystem consequences of the loss of the native individuals. In Virginia, improvement of the aquatic habitat in the Chesapeake Bay and its major tributaries is a primary goal of resource managers and policy makers. For tidal waters, our focus will be on three predominant types of aquatic habitat restoration: seagrass, oyster reef and salt marsh. Advancing specific restoration options as part of compliance plans for generating stations will require a technically sound “scaling” to link impingement and entrainment losses to restoration project outcomes. We reviewed the status of restoration scaling for environmental compensation in estuarine environments.

For freshwater systems, we examined three potential restoration options for the mitigation of impingement and entrainment (I&E) losses at freshwater generating stations are 1) fish passageway/impediment removal, 2) riparian buffer enhancement, and 3) fish stocking. These options are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, a combination of two or more of these options together may be more effective than any one option by itself. For example, combining either fish passageways or fish stocking with riparian buffer enhancement may help ensure survival of new fish recruits to a system by providing them with appropriate water quality and habitat features.

Identification of Management Strategies for Promoting Aquaculture in Virginia
PI: Mason
Funding Agency: VA Coastal Zone Management Program / NOAA
Period: 07/01/07 – 12/31/07
Amount: $25,000

This review will identify options for the promotion of shellfish culture generally, as well as options specific to oyster culture. Economic analyses of management options identified pursuant to this proposal are to be conducted Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT). The management analysis proposed herein, will continue to be refined collaboratively with VT during the course of their proposed study in order to identify new management approaches to optimize public and private benefits from aquaculture.

Link to Publication

The Impact of the Blue Crab Fishery on the Population Structure of Diamondback Terrapins
PIs: Chambers, Havens, Stanhope, Angstadt
Funding Agency: National Science
Period: 04/01/07-3/31/08
Amount: $15,000

This project employs side-scan sonar technology to locate and retrieve derelict blue crab traps adjacent to Goodwin Islands in the York River, Virginia to determine potential impacts on diamond backed terrapins. The Goodwin Island marsh complex is considered good habitat for terrapins.

Initial Development of a Web-Based Reporting Capacity for Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay and Virginia Waters Clean-Up Plan
PIs: Hershner, Mason
Funding Agency: NOAA
Period: 10/01/09 – 9/30/10
Amount $ 50,000

The principal objective of this project is to develop and publish a web‐based report of environmental conditions and management/restoration efforts in Virginia waters. In the initial phase of the project (year1), we focused on development of a web‐based reporting capacity for Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay and Virginia Waters Clean‐up Plan reports. The intended use of the website is by the agencies to communicate information and the public to access information on the condition of Virginia waters along with the status of clean‐up efforts. The web site will also provide links to background information and related materials that can enhance public understanding of the Bay and its watershed, as well as the actions necessary to improve its condition. We spent the first year's funding, of a proposed 3 year funded effort, to create and prove the concept for data display and delivery. An initial launch was projected for early in year two of the project with the remaining efforts focused on acquisition of the data, and modification where necessary, to work within the website infrastructure.   We have not secured funding for the next phase of work at this time.

Integrated Guidance Project
PIs: Mason, and staff
Funding Agency: in-house
Period: ongoing

Virginia is battling to change the current trend toward environmental degradation. The effects of direct, secondary and cumulative impacts have had significant adverse impacts on water quality, habitat and aquatic resources. It has become increasingly apparent that in order to reduce the cumulative and secondary impacts of activities within the multiple jurisdictions and multiple management programs affecting the littoral and riparian zones, better coordination and integration of policies and practices is necessary. The concept of integrated coastal management embodied by sustainability, adaptability and effective coordination provides a framework to address the current problems inherent in coastal management generally and shoreline management specifically. There are currently a variety of local and state programs managing shoreline development activities. Each of these programs have their own set of regulatory and guidance documentation. And each managed resource, or jurisdictional area, offers various ecosystem services that are valued by society. These services include water quality maintenance and improvement, terrestrial and aquatic wildlife habitat and recreational amenities to name a few. What is lacking is comprehensive guidance from an ecosystem perspective to promote an integrated management approach for the many regulatory programs that have some responsibility for coastal, shoreline resources. This project involves the development of comprehensive guidance for shoreline management based on ecosystem services. Various combinations of riparian and littoral condition will be modeled for two services; habitat and water quality. The impacts of various shoreline development practices will be assessed based upon those services, and environmental preferences that minimize adverse impacts and/or maximize beneficial outcomes will be identified.
Link to more information - http://ccrm.vims.edu/permits_web/guidance/index.html

Link to more information

Intermediate Development of a Forested Headwater Wetland HGM Model for Wetlands Management in Virginia
PI: Havens
Funding Agency: US EPA
Period: 10/01/04 - 09/30/06
Amount: $178,774

The Forested Headwater Wetland Subclass is unique in that it is partially defined in law by the average current flow (or lack thereof) in the associated stream. This project continues the development of an HGM model for the Forested Headwater Wetland subclass by determining the extent of these wetlands systems as related to annual average stream flow. The final report will include development of a preliminary definition of Forested Headwater Wetlands for HGM model development and preliminary data collection of potential HGM variables.

Internet Based Decision Tool for Siting Wetland Restoration Sites in Hampton Roads, Virginia
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: US Environmental Protection
Agency, in-house
Period: 01/01/05-12/31/08
Amount: $82,361

Revised in 2005, the update now includes Virginia’s entire coastal zone. This project uses the protocol and findings of the Advanced Identification of Wetland Restoration sites, to develop an interactive, web-based management tool to assist regulators, developers, and project agents in location of potential compensatory mitigation sites in Hampton Roads. The model has been run for the entire coastal zone in Virginia.

Link to ArcIMS

Living Shoreline Design and Construction Manual 
PIs: Hardaway, Milligan, Duhring
Funding Agency: NOAA
Period: 10/01/08 – 03/01/10
Amount: $10,079

This project developed a manual that provides design and construction guidance for contractors, coastal managers, planners, local governments, homeowners and those interested in sound shoreline management. The manual incorporates graphics and guidelines produced for an on-line course completed in 2008. The manual also served as curriculum for a marine contractors training course held in the fall of 2010. Integrated shoreline management across jurisdictional habitats and maximizing ecosystem services of vegetated coastal habitats are the guiding principles for the manual.

Living Shoreline Suitability Modeling - Calvert and Somerset Counties Maryland

PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA
Period: 10/01/08-10/01/09
Amount: $49,515

This project extends the Living Shoreline Suitability Model to two additional counties in Maryland.  The model will be run in Calvert and Somerset counties and the model output will be mapped and added to the Maryland Shorelines Online project.  For more details on the Living Shoreline Suitability Model see the Living Shoreline Suitability Model – Worcester County, Maryland

Living Shoreline Suitability Modeling - Worcester County Maryland
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: MD Department of Natural Resources
Period: 11/01/07-9/30/08
Amount: $37,000

This project applies a living shoreline suitability model to the county of Worcester to generate a coastal management strategy map delineating areas suitable for living shoreline treatments.

Link to Project

Living Shorelines Website for Property Owners, Industry and Managers (714831)
PIs: Mason, Reay, Duhring
Funding Agency: NOAA/DEQ
Period: 10/01/09 – 9/30/10
Amount $44,090

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. A critical component of the initiative is the promotion of shoreline management approaches that are sustainable. Commonly called living shorelines, these are approaches that make the best use of natural features to protect property while preserving or enhancing ecosystem services. CCRM is already serving living shorelines information on our website. However, the existing website is a bit dated and some of the information is “hidden” in documents and not easily accessible. We have created a new living shorelines website to address the information needs of the various users involved in shoreline management. The changes to the website reflect input from various user groups including residential property owners, industry, and regulators and decision-makers collected through a series of focus group meetings. The website address is http://ccrm.vims.edu/livingshorelines/

Longwood College / Hull Springs Farm Wetlands Project
PIs: Havens, Redgate
Funding Agency: private funds, in-house

Hull Springs Farm is owned by Longwood University Foundation, Inc. The Foundation works closely with the faculty of Longwood University and other universi­ties and groups to coordinate all uses of Hull Springs Farm for educational events and research. Scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (of the College of William and Mary) have been researching the Farm’s hydrology, soil, and biological indicators (for example, plants) to determine areas of the farm that could be restored to wetlands.http://www.longwood.edu/hullspringsfarm/

Lynnhaven River Shallow Water Fish Survey and Shoreline Inventory
PIs: Bilkovic, O’Brien, Berman
Funding Agency: US Army Corps of Engineers
Period: 912/06 – 9/11/07
Amount: $134,695

The utilization of fish communities within dredged and undredged tidal creek systems of the Lynnhaven River is being assessed. Measures of fish communities will include abundance, size, diversity and other fish community metrics developed for shallow water environs. The shoreline condition of the Lynnhaven River Watershed will be comprehensively inventoried with a protocol specifically developed for Virginia and Maryland coastlines which includes a method for collecting, classifying, mapping and reporting conditions to assess riparian shorelines. Fish community information will be related to habitat characteristics including shoreline condition. Observed relationships would support the use of riparian management practices that mitigate loss of critical shallow water habitats, and further link habitat and fishery management.

Link to Project

Maintenance of Virginia Nontidal Wetlands Database
PIs: Fleming, Weiss
Funding Agency: In-House
Period: ongoing
Amount: N/A

This project maintains a website-accessible database for nontidal wetlands permitting in Virginia.

Link to Website

Marine Debris Project
PIs: Hershner, Havens, Bilkovic, Jasinski
Funding Agency: NOAA/NMFS
Period: 9/21/05 – 9/30/06
Amount: $65,000

This project was intended to demonstrate the feasibility of using side scan sonar surveys to locate abandoned or “ghost” fishing gear, particularly crab pots, in the Virginia tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay, analyze existing records of ghost pots from the trawl survey program in Virginia, investigate the potential effect of ghost pots on fish communities in Virginia waters; and initially survey of the lower York River for ghost fishing gear. Products include a digital map of the surveyed area, annotated to indicate location of all identifiable fishing gear detected by the side scan sonar as well as a brief preliminary assessment of survey methodology and derelict trap impacts on marine organisms.

Link to website

Marine Science Teaching Marsh
PI: Hershner, Reay
Funding Agency: Dreyfus Foundation
Period: Ongoing with Private Funds
Amount: $30,000

Funding was provided for improvements to the VIMS Teaching Marsh via improved signage and informational kiosks, updated video cameras, and modifications to the educational website. The website will describe wetland plant species found within the VIMS Teaching Marsh as well as general marsh properties and function. Website information also includes learning activities for children.

Link to Website

Mathews County Shoreline Management Plan
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NFWF
Period: 01/01/08-03/31/09
Amount: $56,095

This project develops a shoreline management plan for the County of Mathews, Virginia.  The project includes the development of a Shoreline Inventory which report current shoreline condition, and recommendation for strategies to management shoreline erosion.  The project is a collaborative effort with the County government.

Mid-Atlantic Multi-Level Non-Tidal Wetlands Assessment
PIs: Havens, Hershner
Funding Agency: EPA
Period: 10/01/07 - 09/30/12
Amount: $460,000

This project implements a level 1 GIS-based protocol for assessment of nontidal wetlands and their functions in the Mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. CCRM and Pennsylvania State University’s Cooperative Wetlands Center are collaborating to develop and implement a wetlands assessment protocol for the Mid-Atlantic region. The protocol will synthesize methods currently developed for Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, Ohio and other comparable programs. This project will generate a protocol that can be used for probabilistic sampling and characterization of wetlands in each of the major ecoregions of the Mid-Atlantic.

Nontidal Wetland Inventory and Monitoring Strategy for Virginia
PIs: Havens, Hershner
Funding Agency: EPA/DEQ Period: 02/08/08 – 11/30/10
Amount: $164,565

The project continued to develop a complete wet­land monitoring and quality assessment in Virginia’s Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Valley and Ridge, Blue Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau physiographic provinces, building on existing work to develop a monitoring and assessment strategy for Virginia. A total of 2,126 Level II calibration sites were visited in the Commonwealth of Virginia (Coastal Plain = 1,326, Piedmont = 602, and Ridge & Valley, Blue Ridge, Appalachian Plateau = 198)

Occahannock Creek Shoreline Management Plan
PI: Berman, Hardaway
Funding Agency: NFWF / Eastern Shore of VA Resource
Conservation & Dev. Council
Period: 4/1/07-10/31/07
Amount: $40,000

This project develops a shoreline inventory for Occahannock Creek and generates a Shoreline Management Plan to assist with local planning and shoreline management strategies.

Occurrence of the Invasive Weedy Species Phragmites australis Adjacent to Agricultural Lands and its Response to Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Control Methods.
PIs: Havens, Chambers
Funding Agency: USDA
Period: 8/1/03 – 7/31/06
Amount: $179,280

This project focuses on developing a model of Phragmites invasiveness at upland/wetland interfaces by determining the mechanism of invasion, competition and spread of Phragmites. With respect to weed control, one of our applied hypotheses is that CRP sites enhance N removal prior to groundwater discharge to the wetland-upland interface, and that best management practices like buffer strips are environmentally sound forms of controlling Phragmites invasion and spread.

Link to Project and Report

Preliminary Restoration Support Activities and Technical Advisory
PIs: Hershner, Bilkovic
Funding Agency: CH2MHill
Period: 11/1/05-5/31/06
Amount: $68,000

This report is designed to provide background information for evaluation of restoration options in mitigation situations for power generating stations in Virginia. The report provides information on fish species that might be targeted for restoration activities. There are at least four general ways in which environmental compensation might occur associated with generating station cooling water intakes. These include: 1. direct replacement of lost organisms through culture and stocking programs; 2. enhancement of support-species populations to increase survival in stocks of impacted species; 3. direct enhancement of aquatic habitat to increase suitability for impacted species; and 4. enhancement of watershed conditions to generally improve local and downstream aquatic habitats.

Rappahannock County Riparian Buffer Study
PI: Herman
Funding Agency: U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
Period: 03/01/06 - 09/30/06
Amount: $30,000

Riparian buffers are important zones for maintaining water quality and providing critical habitat. Rappahannock County has a rural landscape that presents the opportunity to record baseline conditions of riparian buffers. This study involved analyzing a small drainage area in the Upper Thornton River watershed to offer guidance on targeting riparian buffer restoration. Methods included using aerial imagery and GIS to delineate land uses and buffer cover in 100 ft. buffers around streams. Results indicate that in the study area 51% of the riparian lands potentially need some restoration and several recommendations for riparian buffer restoration were made in the final report.

Link to Final Report

Recommendations for Revision of the Dunes/ Beaches Guidelines
PIs: Mason, Bradshaw, Duhring, Hardaway, Varnell
Funding Agency: VA Coastal Zone Management Program / NOAA
Period: 10/01/07 – 09/30/08
Amount: $50,000

There are currently a variety of regulations and guidelines developed by local and state programs managing shoreline development activities. Development of proposed revision to the Dunes/ Beaches Guidelines document is part of CCRM’s on-going integrated guidance initiative. The Dunes/ Beaches Guidelines will be based upon the current scientific understanding of the ecology of beaches and dunes wetlands and role in the landscape.

Link to more information

Recommendations for Revision of the Wetlands Guidelines
PI: Mason
Funding Agency: VA Coastal Zone Management Program
Amount: $45,000

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.

Link to Report

Recreational and Commercial Water Use Monitoring
PI: Havens
Funding Agency: in-house

This project involves a partnership with the Coast Guard Auxiliary to investigate recreational boat use and commercial crabbing activities in order to develop potential predictive models of derelict blue crab trap locations and densities. Recreational boating activity and commercial crab trap buoys are logged and mapped using GPS technology.

Recurrent Flooding Study For Tidewater Virginia
PI: Mitchell, Hershner
Funding Agency: Commonwealth of Virginia
Period: 06/12 - 12/12
Amount: $50,000

This project identifies recurrent flooding issues throughout Tidewater Virginia, examines predictions for future flooding issues and evaluates a global set of adaptation strategies for reducing the impact of flood events.

Link to report

Reducing Impact of Lost Crab Traps on Fishery Resources

PI: Havens
Funding Agency: NFWF
Period: 10/01/09 – 12/31/10
Amount: $32,300

This project involves the real-world testing of the panels by incorporating them into the regular recreational and commercial blue crab fishing operations during the blue crab season from April - October. At least ten residents who regularly deploy blue crab traps from their private piers will be recruited from a waterfront community to test traps modified with degradable panels against unmodified control traps. Each participant will be asked to check their traps at least once per week and note the species trapped and count, sex, and measure (carapace width) the crabs trapped. The entire waterfront community will be surveyed to determine whether they would be willing to pay extra for a trap that is deemed ‘green’ and promotes a sustainable fishery concept. Five commercial crabbers from various regions of the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay will incorporate 5 modified traps as part of their normal operation. The five modified traps and five control traps will be checked daily for one week in the spring, summer, and fall season. The crabs trapped will be identified, counted, and measured.

Regional Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program: Solicitation for Projects in EPA Regions 3, 4, and 6 and 7
PIs: Hershner, Havens
Funding Agency: EPA
Period: 10/01/07-09/30/12
Amount: $460,000

CCRM and Pennsylvania State University’s Cooperative Wetlands Center are collaborating to develop and implement a wetlands assessment protocol for the Mid-Atlantic region.  The protocol will synthesize methods currently developed for Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, Ohio and other comparable programs.  This project will generate a protocol that can be used for probabilistic sampling and characterization of wetlands in each of the major ecoregions of the Mid-Atlantic.

Regulatory Fidelity to Guidance in Virginia’s Tidal Wetlands Program
PI: Hershner
Funding Agency: EPA
Period: 12/01/10 – 11/30/13
Amount $225,083

This project is designed to monitor permit decisions made by local wetlands boards and VMRC, comparing those decisions with the outcomes suggested by the technical guidance developed for the management program.  The objective is to document the performance of those regulatory bodies and use the information to refine the guidance and the supporting educational programs promulgated by the Center.

Riparian Shoreline Assessment and Mapping for the Chowan River, NC
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: Albemarle Pamlico National
Estuary Project (APNEP)
Period: 5/16/05-5/15/06
Amount: $30,000

This project produces an inventory of shoreline conditions for the Chowan River Basin. Following a survey and analytical protocol applied in Virginia and Maryland (see also Shoreline Inventory Reports) this inventory expands the geographic extent of a Mid-Atlantic mapping initiative southward. Final survey results, data, and maps

Seasonal Monitoring, Fecal Coliform Loads, Lynnhaven River System
PIs: Hershner
Funding Agency: Virginia Beach
Period: 11/1/05-3/31/07
Amount: $53,259

A collecting and sampling program was developed for fecal coliform following runoff events in the Lynnhaven River System. This information will be used to support water quality and TMDL modeling.

Shallow Water Use Management Plan

PI: Hershner
Funding Agency: n/a
Period: 7/1/00 - present
Amount: n/a

This project used GIS to evaluate conditions suitable for a variety of activities that may occur within the shallow water zone of the estuary. Uses include SAV growth, aquaculture, crabbing, recreational fishing, etc. Nearly 20 uses were modeled. First use suitability models were developed, specifying conditions which must exist for a particular use to occur. Second, GIS algorithms are prepared to analyze available environmental data and indicate areas of suitable conditions for each use within the shallow water zone. Spatial models of use suitability were then combined according to a conflict prediction model to identify potential use conflicts. Final steps in the project will be identification of management issues and options, and development of policy recommendations.

Link to Tool

Shellfish Aquaculture Suitability Model
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: Virginia Coastal Resources Management Program
Period: 10/1/06-9/30/07
Amount: $85,000

Using GIS, a landscape model will be developed to delineate areas suitable for shellfish aquaculture. This model will consider physical and biological parameters associated with good shellfish growing areas, as well as upland land use considerations that can enhance or impede the success of an aquaculture operation. The model will be developed using GIS and final products will include an interactive mapping site to display the suitable areas. This project expands on earlier efforts to explore shallow water use conflicts in Virginia.

Link to Project and Report

Shoreline Inventory Reports for Tidewater Localities: Phase 2

This project extends the development of Shoreline Inventories into two additional localities in Virginia.  They are York County and the City of Newport News.  Data for both areas had been previously collected in earlier years.  The project addresses data processing and completes the publication phase of the inventory development. 

For similar products see GIS Maps & Data - Shoreline Inventories

Shoreline Inventory Reports for Tidewater Localities – Northampton (715741)
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA/DEQ
Period: 10/01/10 – 9/30/11
Amount: $100,000

This project continues with the development of the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay Shoreline Inventory Series.  The county of Northampton on the Eastern Shore of Virginia will be surveyed and a shoreline inventory report of shoreline conditions will be published.  The inventory surveys conditions pertaining to riparian land use, bank condition, shoreline structures, and natural systems such as marshes and beaches.  Previous products are available for viewing on the Shoreline Inventory website at this url: http://ccrm.vims.edu/gis_data_maps/shoreline_inventories/index.html

Shoreline Management Strategy Consensus of Integrated Shoreline Planning for Local Governments
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA
Period: 10/1/08-09/30/09
Amount: $6,166

This project develops guidelines for local governments to implement recommended shoreline management strategies developed within the framework of a Shoreline Management Plan into local comprehensive planning documents and policy.

Shoreline Situation Reports and their Application for Tidal Wetlands Management - A Demonstration Project in Westmoreland County
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: VA Coastal Zone Management Program
Period: 3/1/06-3/31/07
Amount: $55,000

This project has two primary phases. The first is to conduct a second shoreline inventory of conditions existing in the county of Westmoreland, Virginia. The second phase reviews and extracts shoreline alteration projects from the VIMS Wetlands Permit Database that have been permitted between the years 2001 (first survey) and 2006. The projects will be compared with shoreline structures that have been observed and mapped between 2001 and 2006 as part of the inventories. This demonstration project is intended to determine if the combined activities of maintaining a database of construction activity and conducting shoreline surveys collects sufficient information to 1) report on resource trends over time; 2) identify violations or construction of unauthorized structures along the shoreline, 3) delineate hot spots of shoreline activity and heightened risks to ecological resources.

Link to Report

Shoreline Situation Reports for Tidewater Localities
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: VA Coastal Zone
Management Program
Period: 10/07-9/08
Amount: $50,000

This project completes necessary steps to generate new Shoreline Inventories for the City of Chesapeake, City of Portsmouth, County of Gloucester, County of New Kent, and County of King George.

Link to Website

Shoreline Situation Reports for Selected Localities: Caroline and Stafford and Westmoreland Counties
PI: Berman
Funding Agency(s): NOAA
Period: ongoing
Amount: $55,000

This project advances the development of Shoreline Situation Reports throughout the cities and localities within the Tidewater region of Virginia. Shoreline Situation Reports were first developed by VIMS in the 1970s to support coastal management activities and decision making. CCI is attempting to update the series, and publish a new inventory for each city or locality. The process includes robust data collection in the field using GPS equipment, post processing of data using GIS and remote sensing tools, and the development of map inventories on a county by county basis. With funding from the Virginia Coastal Resources Management Program, three additional inventories will be added to the Virginia Shoreline Inventory shortly. The counties of Caroline and Stafford are now online and Westmoreland County will come online early 2007. GIS data for all published inventories are posted under Shoreline Situation Reports.

Link to Project

The Stability of Living Shorelines - An Evaluation
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA
Period: 10/1/04 - 12/03/06
Amount: $160,000

This project provides scientific rational for the expanded use of soft structure stabilization for tidal shoreline protection. A series of tests was performed to develop a profile of landscape suitability for soft shoreline stabilization. Analyses were performed on data describing shoreline condition. Shoreline change mapping in selected study areas determine effectiveness of shoreline treatments. An environmental assessment combines various data to develop the shoreline profile for effective soft stabilization and develops a spatial suitability model. Final products include a report and outreach material posted to a dedicated website to be announced.

Link to Report

Strengthening Virginia’s Wetlands Management Programs
PIs: Hershner, Berman, Havens
Funding Agency: EPA
Period: 10/01/09 – 9/30/11
Amount $394,700

This project involves two activities. The first is initial development of comprehensive wetland management plans for localities. The plans specifically address the threat of climate driven impacts to tidal wetlands. The beginning work will be undertaken in the York River system. The second task begins effective linkage of the Commonwealth’s wetland management programs with the Commonwealth’s water quality management program. Under this project we are: providing wetland assessment training to water quality monitoring personnel, conducting advanced assessment of sites of interest to the water quality program; and synthesizing results from both the wetlands and water quality monitoring programs to facilitate collaborative use of the information.

Link to Report

Study of Tidal Shoreline Management in Virginia: Recommendations for Living Shorelines and Tidal Resources Sustainability [SJR 35 (2010)]
PI: Mason

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) was directed under Senate Joint Resolution 35, to conduct a study of tidal shoreline management in Virginia. The resolution directed  four specific tasks to be included in the study: “(i) review tidal shoreline management in the Commonwealth and similarly situated states; (ii) identify potential changes to the regulatory structure of tidal shoreline management to reduce the cost and time required to issue a permit; (iii) identify regulatory innovations that would increase adoption of living shorelines among shoreline landowners; and (iv) make specific recommendations to achieve the sustained protection of tidal shoreline resources.”

The Center for Coastal Resources Management at VIMS was delegated the responsibility for the study. We conducted detailed reviews of the shoreline management construct of Virginia along with other states. The review was to assess models for use in Virginia that address multi-jurisdictional decision-making or living shorelines or both and at the same time, look for possible complications or ineffective programmatic efforts to avoid. 

The report identifies possible options for time and costs savings for permit issuance and regulatory innovations to increase the use of living shorelines. A look at the current shoreline management structure in Virginia and the future cast of adverse resource effects due to management decisions and natural losses calls for a comprehensive approach to achieve sustainability of shoreline resources. Six specific recommendations are made to address time and cost, promote living shorelines and achieve long-term protection of tidal shoreline resources. 


Sturgeon Spawning Habitat on the James and Appomattox Rivers
PIs: Bilkovic, Hershner
Funding Agency: USFWS
Period: 11/01/05 – present
Amount: $12,945

This project’s objectives are to conduct bottom mapping of potential Atlantic sturgeon spawning reaches using side scan sonar to ascertain the presence and location of essential spawning habitat (e.g. gravel beds) in the James and Appomattox rivers. Areas surveyed include the upper reaches of the James River from Shirley Plantation to Richmond; as well as the Appomattox River from the mouth to the Colonial Heights Bridge.

Project Link

Survey of Atlantic Sturgeon Spawning Habitat on the James River
PI: Bilkovic
Funding Agencies: US Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Program
Periods: 11/01/05-5/31/07 (USFWS), 10/01/07-present (NOAA-CBO)
Amount: $12,945 (USFWS), $20,000 (NOAA-CBO)

This project’s objectives are to conduct benthic habitat mapping of potential Atlantic sturgeon spawning reaches using side-scan sonar to ascertain the presence and location of essential spawning habitat (e.g. gravel beds) in the James River. Areas surveyed include the upper reaches of the James River from Shirley Plantation to Richmond. The location of viable hard bottom habitats for sturgeon spawning will be determined and geo-referenced for future evaluation with additional habitat quality information.

Link to Website

Surveying and Summarizing the Spatial Arrangement of Benthic Habitat Types within the Nearshore of Mobjack Bay, Virginia
PIs: Bilkovic, Hershner
Funding Agency: NOAA Chesapeake Bay
Period: 9/01/06-8/31/08
Amount: $68,581

Mobjack Bay and its associated tributaries historically contained a diverse array of critical habitat types including oyster reefs, seagrass beds and tidal wetlands. Currently, multiple restoration efforts are underway throughout this watershed to mitigate losses from disease, and habitat destruction and modification. Benthic habitat will be mapped and quantified within the nearshore of Mobjack Bay, including the Severn, Ware, North and East Rivers, and compared with described aquatic habitat distribution (e.g. SAV, tidal marsh) from other sources (CCRM, wetlands program and VIMS SAV program), to characterize the extent and distribution of habitats.

Link to Website

Sustainable Communities: Final PCA Map & Outreach Effort
PI: Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA/DCR
Period: 11/01/10 – 9/30/11
Amount: $7,000

This project has two major goals.  The first is to integrate an estuarine Aquatic Priority Conservation Model developed at CCRM into an existing state-wide Priority Conservation Model which currently is limited to terrestrial and free flowing stream habitats.  The second component of the project is to develop outreach material to teach local governments how to utilize these products to assist them with conservation planning.

Tidal Flushing Characteristics in VA’s Tidal Embayments
PIs: Hershner, Herman
Funding Agency: VA Coastal Zone Management Program
Period: 10/01/06-9/30/07
Amount: $60,000

This project combines GIS and water quality modeling to evaluate individual hydrologic systems for general tidal flushing characteristics.

Link to Website

Tidal Wetlands Management Technical Support
PIs: Fleming, Hershner
Funding Agency: VA Coastal Zone Management Program / NOAA
Period: annually 10/1-9/30
Amount: $42,000

This project has been a continuing grant renewed annually to support advisory service provided by the Wetlands Program to the Tidal Wetlands Management program. In particular, this grant helps fund travel costs associated with site visits and meeting attendance by staff scientists, publication costs for wetlands newsletters and outreach education materials, as well as some of the expenses of maintaining the tidal wetlands permit database on the Center’s website. http://ccrm.vims.edu/perms/newpermits.html

Rivers and Coast, Winter 2010, Vol. 5, No. 1. 
Shallow Water Dredging
Rivers and Coast, Summer 2010, Vol. 5, No. 2. 
Integrated Shoreline Management Decision Tree for Untreated Shorelines
Rivers and Coast, Fall 2010, Vol. 5, No. 3
Derelict Crab Pots in the Chesapeake Bay
Virginia Wetlands Report, Spring 2010, Vol. 25, Issue 1.
Coastal Management Decision Tools
Virginia Wetlands Report, Fall 2010, Vol. 25, Issue 2. 
CCRM Living Shorelines Website Update

Virginia Shoreline Classification
PI: Berman, Herman
Funding Agency: unfunded
Period: 9/15/05-present

Using basic geomorphic characteristics of the coastal landscape, the shoreline of coastal plain of Virginia is being classified. The selected characteristics will serve as indicators of shoreline stability, potential management strategies, and current and future vulnerability. This is a regional assessment and is not intended for application to parcel level shoreline management issues.

Link to Report

Vulnerability of Shallow Tidal Water Habitats in Virginia to Climate Change
PIs: Bilkovic, Hershner, Berman
Funding Agency: NOAA Chesapeake Bay Program
Period: 10/01/07-11/30/09
Amount: $120,000

Shallow water environments are vital to the coastal community, providing an enormous mix of ecological services. The principal objective of this study was to develop a characterization of current shallow-water habitat components in Virginia tidal waters and predict climate driven changes to these habitats. Geospatial models were constructed that forecast the future distribution of key coastal habitats (i.e. shallow-water areas, tidal wetlands, submerged aquatic vegetation and estuarine beaches) based on anticipated relative sea level rise, temperature and salinity projections, and coastal development. Project results can be used to inform forward-looking management efforts to identify and protect areas where habitat complexes are most likely to be sustainable, as well as preserve opportunities for migration of habitat elements in an evolving system.

Website: http://ccrm.vims.edu/research/climate_change/index.html

Wetlands Permit Review and Report Generator
PIs: Hershner, Berman, Fleming
Funding Agency: in-house
Period: 1/30/10

This project enhances the permit reporting process to increase the amount of information presented while automating systematic reporting. This is the first system of its kind that combines expert staff review with landscape information retrieved from spatial databases. The report generator is always being modified as new landscape information is available. The reports along with the original application and related photos are posted online in a searchable database.

Wind Energy GIS Database
PI: Hershner
Funding Agency: VCERC
Period: 07/01/07-06/30/09
Amount: $50,000/year

The Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium (VCERC) consists of eight partner universities and six government and industry partners.   VCERC provides the research and development required for the commercialization and implementation of renewable energy by using algal biomass, wind and wave resources available in Virginia.  Offshore Wind Power is one of the Research Focus Areas.  Researchers are exploring whether coastal Virginia's abundant supply of wind and wave energy should be tapped to generate electricity.  CCRM is providing GIS and data expertise to VCERC in support of this effort.

York River Watershed Planning
PI: Hershner
Funding Agency: Phillip Morris
Period: ongoing
Amount: $45,348

This project involves assessment of the information available to develop guidance for establishing minimum instream flow requirements in the tidal freshwater portions of the York River system.  Existing MIF methods are being reviewed and aquatic habitat requirements are being synthesized.  Recommendations for both interim management strategies and future development of guidance will be generated, along with outreach materials for watershed localities.