Virginia Coastal Policy Center


Impairment of Virginia waters is tied to coastal storm hazards and sea level rise because excess floodwaters are contaminated by flood-exposed industrial and residential facilities, and these toxic floodwaters flow into the state’s water bodies. In Virginia, thousands of industrial facilities can potentially be subjected to the effects of stormwater flooding, hurricane storm surge, and sea level rise, in turn affecting water quality. Failing or unmaintained septic systems also pose a major threat to the quality of Virginia waters that increases with recurrent inundation by flood waters. A combination of changes to law and policy and investment in infrastructure are essential to combating the effects of coastal storm hazards and sea level rise on water quality in Virginia while simultaneously protecting the state’s most vulnerable populations against the negative effects of reduced water quality.

This abstract has been adapted from Section I of the paper.

Document Type

Water Quality, Water Quantity, and Marine Debris

Publication Date

Spring 2020