Virginia announces $18 million Community Flood Preparedness Fund grant round
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation announced this week the opening of the first grant round for the new Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund.
During the next 90 days, communities across Virginia will be able to apply for $18 million in grants to address the effects of recurrent flooding, sea level rise and extreme weather.
“Today, Virginia is taking an important next step to combat flooding — the most common and costly natural hazard we face,” Gov. Ralph Northam said. “The Community Flood Preparedness Fund will provide an estimated $75 million a year to improve the resilience of our Commonwealth, including targeted funding for Virginia’s most vulnerable and underserved communities.”
The General Assembly voted to establish the fund during the 2020 session. The fund is financed by the sale of carbon emission allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, which Virginia joined in January 2021.
“Virginia worked hard to become a part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and the effort is now paying off,” said Secretary of Natural Resources and Chief Resilience Officer Matthew J. Strickler. “The Community Flood Preparedness Fund will better prepare Virginia to address the threat of floods caused by a warming climate.”
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, in cooperation with the Virginia Resources Authority, will administer the fund and grant program. DCR oversees the state’s floodplain management program.
“DCR is ready to accept grant applications for the Community Flood Preparedness Fund,” DCR Director Clyde Cristman said. “We know many people across the Commonwealth have been waiting for this day, and we are excited it has arrived.”
Information about the fund, eligibility rules, application procedures and instructions are available in the fund’s grant manual, which is posted at www.dcr.virginia.gov/cfpf.
The manual underwent a public comment period earlier this spring. It builds on fund guidelines developed 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 Community Flood Preparedness Fund will be critical to implementing future projects associated with the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan,” said Rear Adm. Ann Phillips (Ret.), Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection. “As we enter another Atlantic hurricane season with ‘above average’ storms predicted, there’s no time to waste.”