January 9, 2023 - Property owners on Hampton’s waterfront may be eligible for financial aid in constructing a living shoreline that complies with state regulations regarding preparation for sea level rise.
The city has created a partnership with a regional agency, the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District, to facilitate the construction of living shorelines that are constructed to mimic natural marshes and often use sand, marsh grasses and rocks to protect the shoreline from erosive waves. They enhance native habitat and improve water quality, providing crucial ecosystem services to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. State regulations require living shorelines as the default method of erosion control.
Qualifying property owners could be reimbursed for as much as to 80 percent of the total project cost — not to exceed $30,000 — for approved living shoreline projects. Additionally, under a pilot program, approved property owners can receive up to half of the total project cost in advance, up to $15,000.
The Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP) provides financial incentives, as well as technical and educational assistance, to property owners in Virginia’s participating conservation districts, including the Colonial district, which serves Williamsburg and the counties of York, James City, New Kent and Charles City. Although Hampton is not located within the district’s service area, this new partnership extends access to VCAP specifically for living shoreline assistance. In its first year, VCAP will support as many as 10 property owners to install living shorelines in Hampton.
Shorefront landowners who would like to inquire about eligibility for assistance through VCAP can contact the Hampton Wetlands Board by phone at 757-728-5233 or send an email to Allison.email@example.com. For more information on the program, click here.