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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded a $3,140,000 grant to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to continue the administration of its Coastal Zone Management Program. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The grant will support the state’s federally approved management plan, which covers Virginia’s 3,315 miles of coast and more than 4,010,900 coastal residents. The Virginia CZMP encompasses the eastern third of the state including the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers, part of the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed, and the Atlantic coast with its vast barrier island lagoon system.
The program supports coastal communities and vital industries such as shipping, tourism, commercial and recreational fishing and the plants and animals that rely on these coastal habitats. Coastal programs monitor activities in the coastal zone addressing major concerns of polluted runoff; habitat protection; riparian buffers; wetlands; fisheries; sustainable development; waterfront redevelopment; septic systems; and erosion and sediment control.
“The Virginia CZMP aims to keep its coast healthy and productive by balancing the need for sustainable development with the protection and management of coastal resources, which is a core principle within NOAA,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This grant allows the commonwealth of Virginia to manage its coastal resources which are vital to the state’s economy, while actively supporting NOAA and the Bush Administration’s commitment to the environment.”
The grant also provides statewide programs to conserve coastal habitat, and protect coastal assets such as coastal wetlands and estuaries through outreach and education.
The Coastal Management Program is a federal-state partnership dedicated to comprehensive management of the nation’s coastal resources, ensuring their protection for future generations while balancing competing national economic, cultural and environmental interests. The 34 states and territories with federally approved coastal management programs have the flexibility to make day-to-day management decisions at the state level. The CZMP is authorized by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 and administered at the federal level by the Coastal Programs Division within NOAA. For more information, visit: http://www.ocrm.nos.noaa.gov/czm/.
Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA’s goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 34 years.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
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