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Improving Habitat for Community Resilience: The Middle Peninsula Habitat Focus Area

March 29, 2023

NOAA and partners are working to bolster habitat conditions in the Middle Peninsula, which are suffering due to climate change.

An aerial view of a small coastal community surrounded by water on all sides, accessed by a small road cutting through the water. Stump Point area in Hayes, Virginia, part of the Middle Peninsula, on a flyover with SouthWings. Credit: Scott Lerberg, Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Virginia

The Middle Peninsula of Virginia—including the York River, Piankatank River, and Mobjack Bay—faces some big challenges. It suffers from the highest rate of sea level rise just about anywhere on the East Coast, and its coastal communities are changing fast. As ocean levels are rising, marshes are deteriorating and flooding in the marshes is increasing. It’s affecting the local oyster industry and the communities that depend on local fisheries.

NOAA has selected the Middle Peninsula as a Habitat Focus Area. NOAA and partners will use restoration, science, and community engagement to tackle challenges. NOAA and partners, including the local tribes, are working on projects to restore and sustain habitat. Healthy habitat supports fish and other species—and in turn contributes to the economy. Watch this video to learn about efforts to restore oyster reefs and shorelines, protecting wetlands and the coastal communities that live there. Work is already showing results!


Last updated by Office of Habitat Conservation on April 24, 2023