Last year, the Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic (VCPC) at the William & Mary Law School and the Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) hosted a forum for state and local government officials as well as coastal stakeholders to discuss the legal and policy challenges presented by coastal flooding. Described as a “game-‐changer” for Virginia, the event generated recognition that the magnitude and complexity of these challenges places local governments in a position of needing a variety of assistance if they are to meet their responsibilities to protect health, safety, and welfare. Materials from the 2013 Conference are available here.
Since this precedential gathering, state level action in response has included:
- The Virginia Secure Commonwealth Panel established a Sub- Panel on Recurrent Flooding. The Sub-Panel has recently released its findings, making a series of recommendations for improving planning for, and responding to, recurrent flooding.
- The Virginia General Assembly created a Joint Subcommittee on Recurrent Flooding. It has met twice, receiving testimony from sectors ranging from the Army Corps of Engineers to insurance providers and is considering potential legislation for the 2015 General Assembly Session.
- Governor McAuliffe launched the Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission, charging it to provide him within a year with a set of significant, achievable outcomes that focus on adaptation.
At the regional and local level, planning district commissions, academia, and city and county governments have undertaken actions ranging from adopting new freeboard ordinances to analyzing new intergovernmental collaborative structures.
Adaptive Planning for Flooding and Coastal Change in Virginia: Next Steps for the Commonwealth will move forward the current dialogue by providing a forum for the next meeting of the Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission. It will also bring together for discussion national, state, and local experts and leaders on current actions being taken to adapt to flooding and coastal change and highlight key legal and policy matters currently confronting both the public and private sectors.
|Friday, December 5th|
Davison M. Douglas, William & Mary Law School
Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission
Patricia E. Roberts, William & Mary Law School
Lynda L. Butler, William & Mary Law School