The Virginia General Assembly created a statewide Community Flood Preparedness Fund (the Fund) that could generate as much as $40 million a year for flood resilience across the Commonwealth. The creation of the Fund is another step Virginia has made to lead the nation in addressing flood risk. VFMA commends Governor Northam and the General Assembly for supporting this effort and continuing to implement policies and directives that will increase the Commonwealth’s resilience to flooding and other natural hazards, such as Executive Order 24, Executive Order 45 creating the Virginia Flood Risk Management Standard, and the Virginia Coastal Adaptation & Resilience Master Plan.
Complete details on the Fund can be found in §10.1-603.25 of the Code of Virginia, but 45% of the revenues from the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program shall be credited to the Fund. Virginia participated in its first carbon allowance auction in March 2021 through RGGI, which brought in over $43 million. This resulted in nearly $20 million available for the Fund, with $18 million available for grants in the first round to assist localities with addressing recurrent flooding, sea level rise, and flooding from severe weather events.
This fund is an opportunity for local governments to implement innovative and needed activities , that may not be eligible under other funding mechanisms, to reduce their flood risk. One of the conditions of using this funding is that localities “shall use moneys in the fund primarily for the purpose of implementing flood prevention and protection projects and studies in areas that are subject to recurrent flooding as confirmed by a locality-certified floodplain manager.” If you’re a local floodplain manager, make sure you’re staying informed as the Fund is developed, determine your areas of recurrent flooding, and start compiling potential projects!
Additional information on the Community Flood Preparedness Fund can also be found on the Wetlands Watch VA Policy Updates webpage: http://wetlandswatch.org/va-policy-updates.
Grant Manual Released
DCR released the final grant manual on June 4, 2021 for Grant Round 1. A correction to the manual was then issued on June 8, 2021. The first grant round had $18 million available, and the application period closed September 3, 2021. The second grant round had $17 million available and closed on November 5, 2021. A third grant round is anticipated in early 2022, but specific details about the third round have not been provided by DCR at this time.
CFPF Draft Grant Manual
The Department of Conservation and Recreation released the draft grant manual for the Community Flood Preparedness Fund on April 5, 2021.
VFMA hosted a Lunch & Learn event to discuss our review of the Draft Grant Manual and solicit feedback from members and other floodplain professionals on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 12:00pm. Wetlands Watch also hosted a Lunch & Learn event on the Draft Grant Manual on Friday, April 16, 2021. Recordings of both of events are available below under Outreach Events.
There was a public comment period open for the Draft Grant Manual from April 12, 2021 to May 12, 2021. The Draft Grant Manual states that grants may be awarded for Capacity Building and Planning activities or Flood Prevention and Protection Projects and Studies. VFMA submitted public comments on the Draft Grant Manual through the Virginia Town Hall site.
CFPF Draft Guidelines
CFPF Draft Guidelines
Draft Guidelines for the administration of the Fund were released in December 2020. These guidelines will inform the annual grant manual, scoring criteria, and other aspects of administration of the Fund. A public comment period for the Draft Guidelines closed on January 31, 2021. Find more information, including the notice for public comment and comments submitted on the Virginia Town Hall site here.
VFMA hosted a Lunch & Learn event on December 15 on this topic with Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, Joshua Saks. A recording of this event is available on this page below.
VFMA Comments on the Draft Guidelines
- VFMA was part of a joint comment letter with other conservation partners that was submitted on January 27, 2021. Partners included VFMA, Wetlands Watch, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Southern Environmental Law Center, Friends of the Rappahannock, VA Conservation Network, & VA Chapter of the Sierra Club.
- VFMA also submitted a more detailed public comment letter on January 31, 2021.
Draft Grant Manual
VFMA hosted a Lunch & Learn event on the draft grant manual for members on Friday, April 23, 2021. This event walked through the draft grant manual and highlighted potential concerns that VFMA will include in its public comments to the state.
Wetlands Watch also hosted a Lunch & Learn event on April 16, 2021, where Executive Director Skip Stiles walked through the draft grant manual. Recordings for both events are below.
VFMA hosted a Lunch & Learn on the Community Flood Preparedness Fund for local floodplain managers. This event included a presentation by Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, Joshua Saks, followed by a Q & A Session. The recording for this event is available below.
Other outreach events were hosted by the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association (VA APA), and the Virginia Conservation Network. Recordings of those events are also available below. Special thanks to Wetlands Watch for providing their Zoom platform for all three events.