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VA - Northam Announces Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework

The Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework, introduced this week, lays out the core principles of the Commonwealth’s approach to coastal protection and adaptation, and will serve as a blueprint for implementing Virginia’s first project-driven Coastal Resilience Master Plan by the end of 2021.

Gov. Ralph Northam highlighted the framework at an event on Thursday against the backdrop of the LaValette Avenue Kayak Launch and Fishing Pier in Norfolk, where coastal flooding and seal level rise has led to severe tidal intrusion.

“The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, but not the fact that our planet is warming, land is sinking, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather events are more frequent and more severe,” Northam said. “The science is clear: climate change is threatening our way of life, and there is no time to waste. We must act quickly and decisively—and the Coastal Master Planning Framework will be our roadmap to resilience in coastal Virginia. This innovative, science-based approach uses cost-effective, nature-based, and equitable strategies to protect our people, our communities, our infrastructure, and our economy right now and for generations to come.”

The Virginia Coastal Master Planning Framework is the result of a nearly two-year process initiated by the Governor in Executive Order Twenty-Four involving state agencies, key stakeholders, and local and regional partners to develop mitigation strategies to reduce the near and long term impacts of natural hazards and extreme weather. This document is a roadmap that puts the full strength of the Commonwealth into creating a comprehensive Coastal Resilience Master Plan that will protect communities, commerce, and the coastal environment.

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