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CHAPTER 885
An Act to amend and reenact 28.2-1100 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding sections numbered 15.2-2223.2 and 28.2-104.1, relating to Marine Resources Commission; Virginia Institute of Marine Science; coastal resource management.
[S 964]
Approved April 29, 2011

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That 28.2-1100 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding sections numbered 15.2-2223.2 and 28.2-104.1 as follows:

15.2-2223.2. Comprehensive plan to include coastal resource management guidance.

Beginning in 2013, any locality in Tidewater Virginia, as defined in 10.1-2101, shall incorporate the guidance developed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science pursuant to subdivision 9 of 28.2-1100 into the next scheduled review of its comprehensive plan. The Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Marine Resources Commission, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science shall provide technical assistance to any such locality upon request.

28.2-104.1. Living shorelines; development of general permit; guidance.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Living shoreline" means a shoreline management practice that provides erosion control and water quality benefits; protects, restores or enhances natural shoreline habitat; and maintains coastal processes through the strategic placement of plants, stone, sand fill, and other structural and organic materials.

B. The Commission, in cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and with technical assistance from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, shall establish and implement a general permit regulation that authorizes and encourages the use of living shorelines as the preferred alternative for stabilizing tidal shorelines in the Commonwealth. In developing the general permit, the Commission shall consult with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure the minimization of conflicts with federal law and regulation.

C. The Commission, in cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and with technical assistance from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, shall develop integrated guidance for the management of tidal shoreline systems to provide a technical basis for the coordination of permit decisions required by any regulatory entity exercising authority over a shoreline management project. The guidance shall:

1. Communicate to stakeholders and regulatory authorities that it is the policy of the Commonwealth to support living shorelines as the preferred alternative for stabilizing tidal shorelines;

2. Identify preferred shoreline management approaches for the shoreline types found in the Commonwealth;

3. Explain the risks and benefits of protection provided by various shoreline system elements associated with each management option; and

4. Recommend procedures to achieve efficiency and effectiveness by the various regulatory entities exercising authority over a shoreline management project.

28.2-1100. Virginia Institute of Marine Science continued; duties.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science shall hereafter be referred to as the Institute. The Institute shall:

1. Conduct studies and investigations of the seafood and commercial fishing and sport fishing industries;

2. Consider ways to conserve, develop and replenish fisheries resources and advise the Marine Resources Commission and other agencies and private groups on these matters;

3. Conduct studies of problems pertaining to the other segments of the maritime economy;

4. Conduct studies of marine pollution in cooperation with the State Water Control Board and the Department of Health and make the data and their recommendations available to the appropriate agencies;

5. Conduct hydrographic and biological studies of the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and all the tidal waters of the Commonwealth and the contiguous waters of the Atlantic Ocean;

6. Engage in research in the marine sciences;

7. Conduct such special studies and investigations concerning these subjects as requested by the Governor; and

8. Engage in research and provide training, technical assistance and advice to the Board of Conservation and Recreation on erosion along tidal shorelines, the Soil and Water Conservation Board on matters relating to tidal shoreline erosion, and to other agencies upon request; and

9. Develop comprehensive coastal resource management guidance for local governments to foster the sustainability of shoreline resources by December 30, 2012. The guidance shall identify preferred options for shoreline management and taking into consideration the resource condition, priority planning, and forecasting of the condition of the Commonwealth's shoreline with respect to projected sea-level rise.

These studies shall include consideration of the seafood and other marine resources, such as the waters, bottoms, shore lines shorelines, tidal wetlands, and beaches, and all matters related to marine waters and the means by which marine resources might be conserved, developed and replenished.


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