VIRGINIA SEA GRANT PARTNER UNIVERSITIES

Virginia

Coastal Resilience & Adaptation Ecosystem

Collaborative Research • Workforce Development • Economic Opportunities

living with more water

2020

2080

Number of residential, public, and commercial buildings exposed to extreme coastal flooding

0
0

Number of residents living in homes exposed to major coastal flooding

0
0

Annualized flood damages

$ 0
$ 0

local solutions, global opportunities

The Commonwealth’s economy depends upon the resilience of its coastal zone and inland waterways. Flooding, saltwater intrusion, erosion, and other risks from climate change require new products, technologies, services, and designs to adapt buildings, businesses, and infrastructure. Virginia has a competitive advantage because it is already experiencing impacts from the highest degree of relative sea-level rise on the East Coast, years before other states. Current options are limited—new adaptation solutions developed in Virginia will provide global commercialization opportunities. 

together for virginia

Developing breakthrough, cost-effective adaptation solutions requires partnerships across university, industry, public, and non-profit sectors. To fully capitalize on Virginia’s innovation ecosystem and economic opportunities, we need to leverage and expand collaborative R&D capacity to:

Foster public-private collaboration and innovation

Invent new resilience and adaptation
products, technologies, services, and designs

Conduct bench scale and simulation studies

Expand collaborative R&D projects on the existing
network of publicly-owned waterfront properties to validate
products, technologies, services, and designs

Launch adaptation and resilience businesses

Driving innovation

The development of an adaptation and innovation R&D campus has been identified as a priority in the coastal regions’ Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and is widely supported by local and state stakeholders. A state-funded multi-stakeholder planning process identified core strengths, assets, and opportunities in a water adaptation and innovation economy, including broader regional partnerships to launch this economic sector in several priority areas.

The planning process resulted in an Action Plan that recognized Virginia has the assets to assemble a world-class water adaptation and innovation R&D facility. The Commonwealth has launched a $2.9M GO Virginia economic development initiative to grow the water economy. Clearly, Virginia could lead the world in the design, construction, and implementation of:

Comprehensive blue-green-gray resilience
and adaptation infrastructure

Carbon-encumbering, low-energy, smart-water
residential, commercial, and office buildings

Working waterfronts infrastructure and industrial buildings

Decentralized, rural watermanagement infrastructure

Historic and cultural resource preservation

Building concept is for demonstration purposes only and may not represent final construction.
Building illustration courtesy of Clark Nexsen. 

The goal is to establish long-term, public-private innovation and R&D capacity. This strategy meets short-term, immediate needs to adapt shorelines, landscaping, buildings, and open water features. It also ensures long-term economic development opportunities by designing, building, and testing waterfront property solutions for problems experienced by the next generation.

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Triangle Environmental Health Initiative

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Photo Captions:

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Reefs are being placed along the Guinea marsh to protect the islands from erosion Saturday August 5, 2023.
Reefs are being placed along the Guinea marsh to protect the islands from erosion Saturday August 5, 2023.
Reefs are being placed along the Guinea marsh to protect the islands from erosion Saturday August 5, 2023.

Natrx Adaptive Infrastructure

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Photo Captions:

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Dredge Material Collection and Reuse


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Shoreline Stabilization Structures


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Shoreline Stabilization Planting Structure


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Advanced Waste Collection and Treatment

This pilot project is more than just an innovation, it’s a beacon of hope for rural coastal homes and businesses. Here’s why:

Overcoming Drainfield Failure: By eliminating the need for a traditional drainfield, this system is a game-changer for areas where they are failing.

Designed for Coastal Challenges: It’s specifically designed to handle the unique challenges of coastal areas – rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense rainfalls.

Safeguarding Homes and Businesses: This system offers a reliable and sustainable  wastewater treatment option, which is crucial for the livelihood and safety of these communities.

THE INNOVATIVE APPROACH

Advanced Waste Collection and Treatment: The system collects wastewater like usual but then treats it in a vertically elevated unit (typically on pilings), ensuring it’s not affected by flooding.

Safe Discharge: Wastewater is treated to a high quality, meeting state standards to discharge away from the property.

Resilient Water Reuse: Alternatively, after treatment, water is stored and reused in a way that’s safe and eco-friendly (irrigation, flushing toilets, etc.), a big plus for areas where water resources can be strained.

Shoreline Stabilization Plantings


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Dredge Sock Shoreline Stabilization


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Wave monitoring sensor

Wave Motion Measuring Sensor


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Workers from Biogenics Solutions, Ready Reef, and Golden Oyster install oyster castles in a channel of Whittaker Creek in Gloucester, Virginia on Aug 15, 2023.

Biogenics Solutions Consulting LLC

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Photo Captions:

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Advanced Waste Collection and Treatment

This pilot project is more than just an innovation, it’s a beacon of hope for rural coastal homes and businesses. Here’s why:

  • Overcoming Drainfield Failure: By eliminating the need for a traditional drainfield, this system is a game-changer for areas where they are failing.
  • Designed for Coastal Challenges: It’s specifically designed to handle the unique challenges of coastal areas – rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense rainfalls.
  • Safeguarding Homes and Businesses: This system offers a reliable and sustainable  wastewater treatment option, which is crucial for the livelihood and safety of these communities.

THE INNOVATIVE APPROACH

  • Advanced Waste Collection and Treatment: The system collects wastewater like usual but then treats it in a vertically elevated unit (typically on pilings), ensuring it’s not affected by flooding.
  • Safe Discharge: Wastewater is treated to a high quality, meeting state standards to discharge away from the property.
  • Resilient Water Reuse: Alternatively, after treatment, water is stored and reused in a way that’s safe and eco-friendly (irrigation, flushing toilets, etc.), a big plus for areas where water resources can be strained.
Wave monitoring sensor

Wave Motion Measuring Sensor

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