Virginia's Resiliency Plan

Program Contacts

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The commonwealth of Virginia and major stakeholders in Hampton Roads have created a regional public-private coalition, The Resilience Partnership (RP), whose purpose is to re-invent the region around a shared understanding of how to live with water, in response to on-going environmental changes. The coalition will surface, test and refine the best strategies for building water resilient communities across a range of environments by developing a model seaport region that derives its economic vitality from the water. To support this effort, Virginia is currently applying for assistance through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the National Disaster Resiliency Competition to support innovative resilience projects at the local level. The competition will also support communities in efforts to adopt policy changes and activities that plan for the impacts of extreme weather and climate change.

Participation in the effort is broad based, bringing together multiple state and federal agencies, local governments, institutions of higher education, community groups and private sector partners.


Commonwealth of Virginia


  • Norfolk's Chesterfield Heights and Grandy Village neighborhoods have been selected to participate in a transformational coastal improvement project. This $112 million project will reduce flooding, improve public spaces and ensure these communities thrive for years to come. The Ohio Creek Watershed Project is part of Norfolk’s Resilience Strategy and supports its three goals: - Design a coastal community capable of dealing with the increased risk of flooding - Create economic opportunity by advancing efforts to grow existing and new industry sectors. - Advance initiatives to connect communities, deconcentrate poverty, and strengthen neighborhoods. About the Communities: The Ohio Creek Watershed includes two residential, predominantly African American neighborhoods with civic leagues and a strong community identity: Historic Chesterfield Heights with over 400 houses on the Historic National Register; and Grandy Village, which includes a public housing community with more than 300 units. The Ohio Creek Watershed experiences tidal and precipitation flooding. Only two roads access the community. One road is completely impassable during regular nuisance flood events. Residents have expressed concerns about being cut off from the rest of the city. Residents have also expressed concerns about shoreline erosion that exacerbates river flooding and prevents recreational activity. To address these challenges, the project is exploring various landscape and hardscape options to improve flooding, public access to the waterway and connections to the rest of the city.

  • RISE

    RISE is a non-profit organization establishing a series of strategic initiatives in the resilience field. RISE’s vision is to position Hampton Roads as the global leader in addressing the impacts of sea level rise, recurrent flooding, and extreme weather events by developing strategies, policies, and products that allow the region to continue to grow. RISE was incorporated in June 2016, and filed for 501(c) 3 Status in January 2017.

    RISE’s mission is to accelerate global market activity by developing a regional “living laboratory” to test innovation, and to facilitate partnerships and collaboration in the resilience and coastal adaptation fields that lead to economic growth in the Hampton Roads region. The region is galvanizing to address these impacts. Significant work by regional academic, public, and private sector actors to find solutions to evolving conditions is underway. The region already is making significant investments to mitigate the impacts of sea level rise. Investors in these efforts include residents, businesses, municipalities, state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations. RISE will work regionally with these entities to foster collaboration and partnerships in the fields of resilience and coastal adaptation. Cross Disciplinary Capacity RISE’s mission is cross-disciplinary, combining abilities in technical, financial, planning, and community awareness. The Executive Director has demonstrated abilities in those areas and will add staff to augment, grow, and diversify these capabilities.

Application Resources

The National Disaster Resilience Competition is a year-long competition structured in two phases: the framing phase and the implementation phase. All public input must be received by October 21, 2015. All public input must be received by October 21, 2015.

  • Phase 1 applications were due to HUD on March 27, 2015.
  • HUD notified the commonwealth that it has advanced to Phase II.
  • Proposals are due to HUD by Oct. 27, 2015
  • All public input must be received by Oct. 21, 2015
  • HUD anticipates taking up to 60 days after the phase two submissions before announcing awards
  • HUD must obligate the funds (sign a grant agreement) by Sept. 30, 2017

Grantees will have 24 months to expend the funds after obligation.

The commonwealth anticipates that the pilot project(s) will meet at least one of the three national objectives required of HUD CDBG funding: elimination of slum and blight, benefit to low- and moderate-income (LMI) persons and/or urgent need. The state will prioritize activities that benefit the LMI population. Low- and moderate-income is up to 80 percent of the area median income by family size.

The following modifications constitute a substantial amendment requiring HUD approval: any change to the phase one or phase two application that would result in a change of more than five points in the score for capacity or soundness of approach factors, any change to the most impacted and distressed target area(s), any change in program benefit, beneficiaries, or eligibility criteria, the allocation or re-allocation of more than $1 million, or the addition or deletion of an eligible activity.

Action Plan

Quarterly Performance Reports

  • Approved QPRS

             QPR April 1 – June 30 2017 

Activity/Program Information

Norfolk was awarded a $112 million HUD grant from the National Disaster Resilience Competition for the Ohio Creek Watershed Project. The project is exploring various landscape and hardscape options to improve flooding, public access to the waterway and connections to the rest of the city. For the specific project elements please see the link above.

    • Stormwater Mgt-Pump Stations / Tide Gates

A tide gate structure will be integrated into the coastal flood protection and raised roadway on Kimball Terrace. It will restore ecological function to the wetlands and protect the neighborhood from tidal events. In addition, upgrades to the subsurface drainage system and construction of coastal flood protection will necessitate the installation of several pump stations to discharge stormwater into the Elizabeth River.

    •  Stormwater Mgt-Water Retention Street Retrofit

To reduce stormwater flooding during 10-year rain events, several streets will be retrofitted with green infrastructure and drainage network improvements to slow, store, and infiltrate stormwater. In addition to reducing flooding risk, streets retrofits will help minimize pumping requirements, demonstrate green infrastructure techniques, increase pedestrian access and safety, and beautify the neighborhoods.

    • Stormwater Mgt-Parcel Level Water Retention

As part of the multilayered approach to addressing storwmater flooding, parcel-level water retention improvements such as rain gardens will improve capacity to store water and reduce the intensity of stormwater runoff within the neighborhood.


    • Stormwater Mgt-Parcel Level Education Program

As part of the stormwater collection program and in order to bring about a community wide sense of responsibility for personal environmental impacts, the City will implement various initiatives to educate residents about the benefits of parcel- and street-level water retention green infrastructure.

    • Stormwater Mgt-Retention Ponds/Restored Wetland

The project takes advantage of the city's historic hydrology. Several wetland areas and filled tidal inlets will be restored to improve the capacity to store water.

    • Coastal Management-Living Shoreline

Living shorelines will provide erosion protection for coastal flood defense structures while creating new habitat and improving ecological functions of the Elizabeth River.

    • Coastal Management-Flood Walls

 Several locations along the river front have inadequate space to provide a properly sloped berm due to the existing infrastructure in the project area. In these areas, a vertical flood wall is proposed on the river side.

    • Coastal Management-Coastal Berm

A gradually sloped, vegetated berm will be built as a part of the coastal protection system to keep storm surge out of the Chesterfield Heights and Grandy Village neighborhoods. The berm will be visually integrated into the existing landscape.

    • Coastal Management-Road Improvements

There are only two vehicular access routes into the area, and they are subject to flooding during storm events. Additionally, several roads within the neighborhood are impassable during heavy rain or high tides due to their low elevation or insufficient drainage capacity. To address this issue, critical roads will be raised to +8 feet above sea level to provide dry and safe egress for residents. Roads that cross the coastal flood protection structures will be raised to +11 feet.

    • Land Acquisition

The project will require public easements on some existing private property to construct the coastal flood protection features.

Over the past several months, the Ohio Creek Watershed Project has seen many ideas, concepts and strategies tested through charrettes, work sessions, and public meetings. In September, these efforts resulted in the final conceptual design which determined coastal and stormwater project elements that will progress to the schematic design and environmental permitting. For the conceptual design please see the link above:

  • RISE

    RISE is a non-profit organization establishing a series of strategic initiatives in the resilience field. RISE’s vision is to position Hampton Roads as the global leader in addressing the impacts of sea level rise, recurrent flooding, and extreme weather events by developing strategies, policies, and products that allow the region to continue to grow. RISE was incorporated in June 2016, and filed for 501(c) 3 Status in January 2017. Technical Capacity RISE’s Executive Director has a track record of planning and executing complex technical programs. Specialized knowledge in water management and resilience areas may be required and will be acquired through consultant or other arrangements. Capacity for Community Engagement and Inclusiveness Although a new organization, RISE has begun the process of community outreach. The Executive Director has briefed community groups, business groups, and the City Managers of all the regions in Hampton Roads. The RISE Board draws from local business leaders, philanthropists, and thought leaders.

      • NDR-RISE-Revolving Loan Fund


    This activity will support innovative resiliency efforts through a business loan program. Businesses developing innovative resilient technologies may require funding to expand and diversify. Businesses with interest in developing resiliency related goods and services will be evaluated by RISE staff, board and consultants to determine if a RISE investment is viable and further cultivate the product financing and development stages. The loan program guidelines are being developed by RISE’s staff, Board and consultants. These capital injections in the form of loans will help retain and create new jobs. The actual loans will be made under Grantee Activity Number 03-NDR-01.



    Procurement challenges will solicit individuals, teams or companies to design, build and test prototypes of resiliency technologies with a view to demonstrating capability. Key to this activity is that the resilience technologies must not be currently available. They will meet a specific set of needs set by the NDRC program that are not met by any product. Successful entries will be selected to proceed to manufacture and sale of the products for the NDRC Ohio Creek work. Testing and assembly will be done in the Hampton Roads area providing jobs in the region. Manufacturing will be done in the Hampton Roads region as long as there is the capability and resources to do so.This activity is focused on job creation. Planning activities (under 03-NDRC1) include: development of the procurement process in accordance with CDBG regulations, 2 CFR 200 regulations, marketing approach, prize description and legal materials, and prize operation procedures


      • R&D Venture/Support


    This activity will provide assistance to companies developing innovative resilient technologies. This assistance may also come in the form of financial, technical, or managerial/consulting services. Financial assistance may come in the form of seeking additional financial assistance, underwriting, or direct investment of infrastructure or equipment. This activity will assess companies and provide assistance which, in turn, will help companies grow, retain and create jobs. In addition to internal technical assistance, RISE has interest in procuring the services of a public benefit corporation such as 1776 which will provide mentoring and access to global markets. Planning activities (under 03-NDR-C1) for this activity will include: assistance with programs, legal documents, company assessment, and due diligence processes.


      • Resilience Campus 


    This activity will work with corporations to become involved in resilience efforts in Hampton Roads. RISE will broker needs of the cities, corporations, and local businesses to ensure that the necessary relationships are established and maintained. This activity will support success of activities #03-NDR-B1, 03-NDR-B2, and 03-NDR-B3. Although this activity may not directly retain or create jobs, it will be a key component to success by assisting smaller companies in growth, manufacturing, facilities, and knowledge base that may not be available to them. Planning activities for this effort will include generation of databases of eligible companies in the resilience sector, contacts, and partnership structure(s). Planning will also include conversations with companies to refine materials and approaches, and develop pathways forward to establish joint efforts under 03-NDR-C1.


      • Workforce Development


    As a result of the RISE’s efforts, there will be demand for local workforce. Jobs may range from low-skilled assembly positions, to higher skilled manufacturing and design positions. This activity will work with local organizations to ensure there is a pipeline of suitably trained local workers to fill these needs. High school and college students will be targeted to receive training for resiliency related jobs. Planning for this activity will develop coordination with existing local workforce develop efforts, developing needs for resilience workforce, and building the organization to implement the workforce development plan under 03-NDR-C1.


      • Planning


    This activity is to support RISE's planning efforts to design the business loan program, accelerate global market Proposed budgets for organizations carrying out Activity: Activity is being carried out through: Responsible Organization Organization Type Proposed Budget No Activity is being carried out by Grantee: Organization carrying out Activity: Coastal Community Resilience, Inc. Coastal Community Resilience, Inc. Non-Profit $ 789,473.00 Area Benefit (Census) Benefit Report Type: Project Draw Block by HUD: Project Draw Block Date by HUD: Not Blocked 10/01/2022 by Traci Munyan 10/01/2022 by Traci Munyan Activity Draw Block by HUD: Activity Draw Block Date by HUD: Not Blocked Block Drawdown By Grantee: Not Blocked LMI%: Most Impacted and Distressed Budget: $ 0.00 47 Community Development Systems Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting System (DRGR) activity by developing a regional “living laboratory” to test innovation, and to facilitate partnerships and collaboration in the resilience and coastal adaptation fields that lead to economic growth in the Hampton Roads Region. Planning activities will be undertaken which support the implementation of the Business Loan Pool, Procurement Challenges, R & D Venture/Support, Resilience Campus, Corportate Engagement and Workforce Development activities. Attached is a planning document which describes RISE's strategic initiatives in the Hampton Roads area which reinforce the need for a regional focus for climate change solutions in the Commonwealth's coastal areas.



Public Comment, Inquiry, or Participation

Since the signing of the sub-recipient agreement with the Commonwealth in March 2017, Norfolk has held a number of public meetings and design charrettes to provide an update on the project and collect input from residents and other stakeholders. The meetings were held on the following dates: 5/10/2017 5/11/2017 6/6/2017 6/7/2016 6/29, 2017 8/26/2017 8/28/2017 9/21/2017.  See Norfolk link above.

October 2017 – December 2017

Over the past quarter Norfolk's public outreach included the following: In October, the Norfolk team continued to meet with various stakeholders, including the project area school, City leadership, City departments, Planning Commission, residents and other stakeholders to update them on the final conceptual design and the overall project. In November, the Norfolk team held six community design workshops with various project area stakeholders including project areas residents, non-profit stakeholders, students, parents and staff from a project area’s school, five different City departments, and Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority staff. Through interactive and hands-on “Picture Your Park” and “Program Your Park” individual and group activities, the various stakeholder groups expressed their vision for the for the design of the Resilience Park. The purpose of the workshop was to discover how the neighbors and stakeholders use the open space today and how they would like to use this reimagined Resilience Park in the future. As part of community engagement, the Norfolk team also delivered additional three project update presentations to various Norfolk organizations located outside of the project area, including the Downtown Norfolk Council, Kiwanis Club of Norfolk and the Economic Development Authority. In November and December, the Norfolk team also conducted door to door outreach around easements and acquisitions with potentially affected property owners. So far, Norfolk has met separately with 17 property owners around easements and acquisitions.