Conservation Partners to Restore Nearshore Habitat in Virginia

December 04, 2019

NOAA and partners are working to restore nearshore habitat for fish and other Bay species in Virginia's Middle Peninsula area.

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Shoreline restoration project at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown's Cheatham Annex.

The Chesapeake Bay is full of special places—including Virginia’s Middle Peninsula. Much of this area, which is bounded to the north by the Rappahannock River and to the south by the York River, is rural. Many residents make their livelihood from farming or fishing, thanks to the region’s vibrant ecosystem. 

The waters surrounding Middle Peninsula are also treasured by people and wildlife alike. Like many parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, development, pollution, and runoff from upstream areas threaten their health. To ensure a healthy future for the habitat found here, NOAA and partners are working to restore nearshore habitat for fish and other Bay species. 

NOAA and the Virginia Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve recently convened partners from around the Middle Peninsula. They discussed the future for nearshore habitat restoration projects that support resilient coastal communities and economies. At the workshop, participants learned more about each others’ efforts, highlighting where they can work together most effectively. 

The workshop also included presentations by experts on:

  • The importance of habitat to coastal communities in the area.
  • How to use science throughout restoration projects. 
  • Restoration project ideas that partners could team up on.
  • Opportunities for participants to make other plans for future work together. 

As a result of enthusiasm for work in this geographic area, the Chesapeake Research Consortium is holding a competition (PDF, 5 pages). This will help one or two organizations design a nearshore habitat restoration project in the watersheds of the York and Piankatank rivers and Mobjack Bay. The projects that receive funding will design a “shovel-ready” habitat restoration project to help reduce wave energy and erosion while providing nearshore habitat and coastal resiliency. Funding will go toward development of a project design and monitoring plan, making it easier for the project to receive funds for implementation down the road. 

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Map of the York, Piankatank, and Mobjack Bay watersheds in Virginia

Last updated by NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office on December 19, 2019