Category Archives: Water and Economics

Items related to government budgets, grants, user fees, costs, and other aspects of paying for water supplies, water quality, or aquatic habitats.

Virginia Sea Grant Fellowship Opportunities – Application Deadlines in November and December 2017

Virginia Sea Grant is offering or facilitating the following fellowship opportunities for students or post-graduates.  The main Web site for the opportunities is https://vaseagrant.org/fellowship-research-funding/fellowships/; or contact Virginia Sea Grant at Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 363 Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062; (804) 684-7269.  Specific online sites are listed below for each opportunity.

1) Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship.  Deadline to apply is December 8, 2017.  Fellowship begins in summer 2018.  For graduate students close to completing their degree (Masters, Ph.D., or J.D.) in a coastal- or marine-related or relevant field at a Virginia university or college, and for graduates who recently completed their degree at a Virginia university or college (graduating in the spring semester 2017 or after).  More information is available online at https://vaseagrant.org/fellowship-research-funding/fellowships/post-graduate-professional-fellowships/commonwealth-coastal-marine-fellowship/;

2) 2019 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.  Deadline to apply is November 28, 2017.  The one-year fellowship period is expected to begin February 1, 2019.  This nationwide fellowship is for graduate students with an interest in marine, coastal, or Great Lakes resources and in related national policy.  An eligible applicant is any student, regardless of citizenship, who, on February 21, 2018, is enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program with an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.  More information is online at https://vaseagrant.org/fellowship-research-funding/fellowships/post-graduate-professional-fellowships/sea-grant-knauss-marine-policy-fellowship/.

3) Clark Nexsen Coastal Resilience Research Fellowship.  Deadline to apply not yet determined (as of 9/21/17).  This is a paid summer fellowship focused on coastal resiliency, open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students who have research experience or training in areas including, but not limited to engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, resilient design, urban planning, and/or coastal flooding adaptation strategies.  More information is online (as a PDF) at https://vaseagrant.org/wp-content/uploads/ClarkNexsen_VASG_Resilience_Fellowship_Announcement09-13-17.pdf.

4) Graduate Research Fellowship.  Deadline to apply is November 16, 2017.  Anticipated start date is September 1, 2018.  The fellowship provides up to $40,000 per year, requiring a 50-percent match, to students enrolled in a full-time graduate or professional degree program at a Virginia academic institution prior to the award of the fellowship, no later than Fall 2018.  Students may be working toward a degree in any discipline as long as they are engaged in research that is coastal- or marine-related and relevant to the mission and strategic plan of Virginia Sea Grant.  More information is online at https://vaseagrant.org/fellowship-research-funding/fellowships/research-fellowships/virginia-sea-grant-graduate-research-fellowships/.

In October 2017, Virginia Sea Grant will hold on-campus information sessions about these opportunities, as follows:
George Mason University – October 18;
James Madison University – October 11;
Old Dominion University – October 16;
University of Virginia – October 13;
Virginia Commonwealth University – October 9;
Virginia Institute of Marine Science – October 6;
Virginia Tech – October 10.

U.S. EPA Grants of $6.7 Million for Chesapeake Bay Restoration Projects in Virginia Announced in August 2017

In August 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $6.7 million in grants for projects in Virginia related to restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and to the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) pollution-reduction plan (published by the EPA in 2010).  The grants include the following:
*$3.43 million to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment in the Bay and tidal tributaries;
*$2.78 million to the DEQ specifically for reducing non-point source pollution;
*$463,000 to the DEQ for additional monitoring of nutrients and sediments and for water-quality analysis and interpretation; and
*$20,000 to Virginia Tech for technologies to reduce pollutant inputs.

Source:  Bay cleanup gets $6.7M from EPA, [Newport News] Daily Press, 8/29/17.

Virginia DEQ Inviting Proposals for Citizen Water-quality Monitoring Grants for 2018; Applications Due August 31, 2017

Through August 31, 2017, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is inviting proposals for citizen water-quality monitoring grants for 2018.  The grants are to cover project activities from January 1 to December 31, 2018; a final report on the use of the grants funds will be due by February 16, 2018.  Any organization that involves citizen volunteers in water-quality monitoring in Virginia is eligible to apply.

This year, the DEQ is offering three kinds of grants:

Mini-Grant (up to $1,000): Open only to applicants who have not received a DEQ citizen monitoring grant in the previous three years.  The grantee must use at least one-third of the award for equipment and begin water monitoring before the end of the grant period.

Regular Grant (up to $5,000): Maximum award up to $5,000.  Recommended to applicants already familiar with water quality monitoring.  The applicant must submit a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) if a grant is awarded, and begin water monitoring before the end of the grant period.

Coordination Grant (up to $11,000): Open only to applicants who meet the following three conditions.
1 – Coordinate at least three member monitoring organizations that total 35 or more volunteers.  A member monitoring organization is defined as an organization that collects water quality samples but uses the coordinator protocols or submits their data to the coordinating organization.
2 – Monitoring occurs at more than 50 sample sites.
3 – Monitoring occurs in three Virginia city and/or county localities. The grantee must submit a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), and begin water monitoring before the end of the grant period.

DEQ will only accept one application from a requesting group.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) information is available online at http://deq.state.va.us/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityMonitoring/CitizenMonitoring/GrantOpportunities.aspx.

For more information, contact Stuart Torbeck, Va. DEQ Data Liaison, at (804) 698-4461 or charles.torbeck@deq.virginia.gov.

The Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC) provided information for this post.  More information on the VWMC is available online at http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.

 

Economic Impact of Virginia’s Agriculture and Forestry Described in May 2017 Report

In May 2017,  the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia released “The Economic Impact of Virginia’s Agriculture and Forest Industries.”  The 71-page report, written by Terance J. Rephann, is available online (as of July 2017) at the the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Web site, http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/; the Virginia Department of Forestry Web site, http://www.dof.virginia.gov/; or directly (as a PDF) at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/weldoncooper2017.pdf.

Following are some main findings, from the Study Highlights (page 1), all as of in 2015. the base year used for the study.
*Total economic impact of agriculture and forestry-related industries in Virginia was over $91 billion ($70 billion in agriculture, $21 billion in forestry).
*Total employment impact was 442,260 employees (8.7 percent of total state employment) (334,000 in agriculture, 107,900 in forestry).
*Total value-added impact was $45.5 billion (9.5 percent of state gross domestic product) ($36.2 billion in agriculture, $9.3 billion in forestry).
*Agricultural economic impacts were “geographically diffuse. The largest clusters of agricultural-related industry employment impact were located in the Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia, and Central Virginia. The largest forestry-related economic impacts tended to be somewhat more geographically concentrated in the Southside region and communities with pulp and paper mills such as Alleghany County and Covington City.”
*Total economic impact of agriculture and forestry-related industry exports was approximately 47,000 jobs (one in nine farm jobs), $4.6 billion in value-added, and nearly $9 billion in total output.
*Results from other recent studies indicate that Virginia agricultural tourism and forest recreation account for “millions of visitors and billions of dollars of tourism-related spending and economic impact each year.”
*Agriculture and forestry landscapes provide substantial environmental and other societal benefits.  “Forests improve air and water quality, mitigate flood vulnerability, provide wildlife habitat, and aid biodiversity.  Rural landscapes provide scenic amenities that contribute to the quality of life.  The value of air and water environmental services provided by farmland and forestland likely amounts to at least several billion dollars each year.”

Drinking Water Funding in Va. – July 27, 2017, Public Comment Session on FY 2018 Intended Use Program

On July 27, 2017, 9 a.m., the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will hold a public-comment session on the Fiscal Year 2018 Intended Use Plan for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program.  The meeting will be at the VDH Office of Drinking Water, 109 Governor Street, 6th Floor, in Richmond.  Click this link for more information about the meeting.

The program provides assistance to public water systems for capital improvement projects to help meet public health protection objectives of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

According to the VDH’s Web site on the Intended Use Plan for 2017, online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinking-water/office-of-drinking-water/financial-construction/drinking-water-state-revolving-fund-program/: “Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress authorizes capitalization grants to the states through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWSRF).  As part of the annual DWSRF grant application process Virginia seeks meaningful public involvement through input, review, and comments.  The VDH’s Office of Drinking Water (ODW) has prepared a draft Intended Use Plan (IUP) that explains the goals of the program, funding priorities, how VDH intends to use the grant funds, and other important information submitted from the funding requests and set-aside suggestions.”

More information about drinking water funding programs is available online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinking-water/financial-construction-assistance-programs/.

VIMS Approved for $835,000 Coastal Resilience Grant from NOAA in July 2017

On July 14, 2017, Va. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) will receive an $834,991 Coastal Resilience Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  According to the governor’s office news release on the award, the funded project aims “to reduce the impacts of storm flooding through natural and nature-based infrastructure in the Commonwealth. …The VIMS project will address flooding issues across coastal Virginia by developing informative tools that allow local planners in 37 coastal counties to determine suitable areas to implement natural infrastructure solutions.  These funds will help support a $1.2 million project to improve flooding conditions in the region.”

The VIMS project was one of 19 proposals selected nationwide and the only one in the Middle Atlantic region.  Collaborators on the project will be the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at the College of William and Mary Law School; the non-profit organization Wetlands Watch, headquartered in Norfolk; the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, hosted by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality; and several state agencies.

Source: Virginia to Receive $834,991 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to Reduce Impacts of Storm Flooding, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 7/14/17.

Virginia Stormwater Local Assistance Fund Grants for 2017

In May 2017, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director David Paylor approved the recipients for Fiscal Year 2017 grants from Virginia’s Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.  Forty-one projects in 26 localities were authorized for a total of $19,855,948.  Activites funded included stream restoration and stabilization, wetlands construction, detention/retention pond construction or modification, swale modification, woodland restoration, and replacement of impervious surface with permeable pavers.

Localities authorized for FY 2017 grants were the following.
Counties
Albemarle, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Hanover, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Roanoke, Stafford.

Cities
Alexandria, Chesapeake, Hampton, Lynchburg, Manassas Park, Newport News, Portsmouth, Roanoke, Virginia Beach.

Towns (with county location)
Ashland (Hanover County), Broadway (Rockingham County), Christiansburg (Montgomery County), Dumfries (Prince William County), Elkton (Rockingham County), Vienna (Fairfax County), Warsaw (Richmond County).

More information on the fund and the funded projects is available from the DEQ online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance/StormwaterFundingPrograms.aspx.

Stormwater Rain Garden planters UNDER CONSTRUCTION College Ave Blacksburg Jun13 2013

Stormwater rain-garden planters under construction in downtown Blacksburg, Va., June 13, 2013.