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Community Flood Preparedness Fund draft grant manual available for public review

conservationThe Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has released a draft grant manual for the Community Flood Preparedness Fund.

DCR will be collecting public comment for the next 30 days (April 12 through May 12). The grant manual is available for public review at the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall.

Virginia’s coastal and inland flood preparedness involves large-scale planning, data collection and analysis, and project design and implementation. In 2020, Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation creating the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund, which authorizes a grant and loan program to assist Virginia communities impacted by recurrent flooding, sea level rise and severe weather events.

“The grant manual released today is the first step toward providing significant financial support to Virginia communities to address the devastating impacts of recurrent flooding, which is being exacerbated by climate change,” said Secretary of Natural Resources and Chief Resilience Officer Matthew J. Strickler. “We look forward to reviewing the public comments on this draft, and opening our first grant round before summer.”

The fund will be administered by DCR, the agency responsible for coordinating flood-protection activities, in cooperation with the Virginia Resources Authority.

It is capitalized by the sale of carbon emission allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which Virginia joined in January 2021. The fund will receive 45% of the proceeds from quarterly RGGI auctions.

The January auction generated approximately $19.5 million for the fund. DCR is proposing an initial grant round of $18 million. Unspent funds will be used for future grants.

“Following this public review, we will open a grant round in order to use these dollars to make Virginia safer and more resilient,” DCR Director Clyde Cristman said. “This funding will help communities across the commonwealth with flood prevention and protection, capacity building, and planning.”

The grant manual builds on the Guidelines for the Fund, created by DCR with public input in December 2020. Both documents prioritize projects that are in concert with local, state and federal floodplain management standards, local resilience plans and the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan.

The fund is designed to improve resilience and flood protection across the commonwealth. In the coastal region, it will provide needed funding for the implementation of the Coastal Resilience Master Plan.

“A dedicated funding source to implement the Coastal Resilience Master Plan is a key component in ensuring Virginia can meet the growing challenges of increased flooding and severe storm risk,” said Rear Admiral (Ret.) Ann Phillips, Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection.

The draft grant manual is posted at the Town Hall website: townhall.virginia.gov/l/GDocForum.cfm?GDocForumID=543.

More information is available at www.dcr.virginia.gov/cfpf.


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