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.

Public Comment Opportunity on FY 2018 Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund Priority List – Ends with Public Meeting on Oct. 26, 2017

The State Water Control Board’s draft priority list for Fiscal Year 2018 grants from the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund is undergoing public comment until a public meeting on October 26, 2017.  The meeting that day will be at 10 a.m. at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond.  More details on the meeting is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=26560.

The draft list of loan recipients and projects is available from the DEQ online http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance/FY2018AnnualSolicitation.aspx.  More information about the Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance.aspx; or contact Walter Gills, Va. DEQ Clean Water Financing and Assistance Program, P. O. Box 1105, Richmond, Virginia  23218; phone (804) 698-4133; e-mail: walter.gills@deq.virginia.gov.

2017 Surry-Skiffes Creek Restricted Funds Grant Availability Announced October 5, 2017; Deadline to Apply is November 6

On October 5, 2017, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Ooffice announced an upcoming grant round for 2017 Surry-Skiffes Creek Restricted Funds, administered by the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation.  According to the news release from the governor’s office, the grants are designed to support “projects that will conserve, protect, and benefit historically and culturally significant resources.  Eligible projects include landscape preservation along the James River watershed to benefit the Jamestown Island-Hog Island-Captain John Smith Trail Historic District (District), as well as landscape scale conservation that will preclude future river crossings in the area.  Projects may also include enhancement and preservation of sites associated with the Battle of Yorktown and Fort Crafford, as well as exhibits focused on the Peninsula Campaign. …The grant funds are made available pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by Dominion Energy, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in order to mitigate impacts from construction of Dominion Energy’s Surry-Skiffes Creek-Whealton 500-kV Transmission Line Project.  This grant round is one of five categories of projects that will be funded under the terms of the MOA.  Should all $12.5 million in grant funds not be obligated in 2017, a future grant round will be held in 2018.”

The deadline to apply for 2017 funds is November 6, 2017, at 4 p.m. Eastern.  Information about the Virginia Conservation Land Foundation, including the grant manual for the 2017 Surry-Skiffes Creek Restricted Funds, is available online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/virginia-land-conservation-foundation/.

Source: Governor McAuliffe Announces $12.5 Million Grant Round for Historic Preservation and Landscape Conservation; Funds will support projects within the Jamestown Island-Hog Island- Captain John Smith Trail Historic District and related areas, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 10/5/17.

[For more information on the Surry-Skiffes Creek project, please see this Water Central News Grouper post: James River Transmission Line Proposal by Dominion Energy.]

$12.6 Million Granted in September 2017 by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for Chesapeake Bay Watershed Projects

On September 19, 2017, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program announced 44 Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grants worth a total of $12.6 million for habitat restoration, pollution reduction, shoreline protection, stormwater management, green infrastructure, and citizen involvement in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The NFWF administers the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, which provides grants under two EPA programs: the Small Watershed Grants Program (SWG) and the Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants Program (ISNR).  For this funding cycle, $7.3 million was awarded to 13 projects under the Innovated Grants program, with recipients providing more than $13.7 million in matches; and $5.3 million was awarded to 31 projects under the Small Watershed Grants program, with recipients providing nearly $7.5 million in matches.

According to the NFWF’s news release of this year’s grants, “Since 2006, the INSR Program has provided more than $65 million to 153 projects that reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Since 1999, the SWG Program has provided more than $52 million to support 804 projects in the region and has further leveraged $143 million in local matching funds for a total conservation investment in on-the-ground restoration of nearly $200 million.”

Following are the 14 Virginia projects funded in the 2017 funding cycle, with the recipient and the NFWF grant amounts (not including the matching funds):
*Restoring Broad Creek While Advancing the Science of Urban Ditch “Re-Plumbing,” Elizabeth River Project, $500,000.
*Cost-share and Technical Assistance for Installation of Stormwater Best Management Practices, Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, $750,000.
*Reducing Local Impacts on the Chesapeake Bay through Riverside Park’s Stream Restoration, City of Hopewell, $451,000.
*Strengthening the Impact of Riparian Forest Buffers on Water and Habitat Quality (in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia), Maryland Department of Natural Resources, $325,274.
*Shore Protection Planning and Living Shoreline on Pamunkey River, Pamunkey Indian Tribe, $199,544.
*Oyster Restoration in the Lafayette River, Elizabeth River Project, $200,000.
*Eastern Oyster Restoration in the Lafayette River, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, $199,665.
*Linville Creek Stream Restoration: Reducing Sediment Transport, Town of Broadway, $200,000.
*Rappahannock Headwater Stream Buffer Implementation and Conservation Initiative, Friends of the Rappahanncok, $91,966.
*Restoring Eastern Brook Trout Habitat at Bolton Branch, Piedmont Environmental Council, $108,015.
*Town of Glasgow Stormwater Retrofit for Decreased Nutrient, Sediment, and Stormwater Volume, Town of Glasgow, $182,207.
*Rivanna River Renaissance: Abating the Impacts of Stormwater, Erosion, and Sedimentation, Rivanna Conservation Alliance, $199,432.
*Advancing Green Infrastructure in Fauquier County for Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Gains, Center for Watershed Protection, $187,951.
*Women for the Land: Voices for Soil and Water Conservation in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (in Pennsylvania and Virginia), American Farmland Trust, $195,057.

More information on Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund is available at http://www.nfwf.org/chesapeake/Pages/home.aspx, and information generally on the NFWF’s grant programs is available at http://www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/grants/Pages/home.aspx.

Sources:
NFWF Announces More Than $12.6 Million in Grants from the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation News Release, 9/19/17.

List of all the grants in 2017, online (as a PDF) at http://www.nfwf.org/chesapeake/Documents/2017grantslate.pdf.

For Water Central News Grouper items on grants in previous years, please see these links:
2012;
2013;
2016.

News media item about the 2017 grants:
Grants for oyster reefs will help Norfolk’s Lafayette claim status as a ‘restored’ river, Virginian-Pilot, 9/25/17.

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.”