VRA plays an important role in helping to protect the Commonwealth's many precious natural resources. Much of this work is done through the Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (CWRLF). VRA is financial manager for the CWRLF, which the VA Department of Environmental Quality administers on behalf of the State Water Control Board.
One of the programs supported by the CWRLF is the Living Shorelines Loan Program. In 2015, the General Assembly expanded the scope of the CWRLF to include projects for local governments - including authorities, districts and commissions - to create living shorelines or to establish a loan program for local residents to fund their own living shorelines projects. This innovative approach to shoreline erosion is another way that the Commonwealth is working hard to protect and improve water quality for all of its residents.
The Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (PDC) (serving the counties of Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Mathews, and Middlesex and the towns of Tappahannock, Urbanna, and West Point) is one local government body that seized on this opportunity to access funds from the CWRLF to help local residents address water quality issues. In December 2015, the PDC established the Living Shoreline Incentive and Funding Program (Funding Program) to provide low interest loans to local homeowners to implement living shorelines. The Funding Program is supported by a $250,000 CWRLF loan closed in June 2017 and currently disbursing. These funds will be used for erosion prevention and water quality control and to protect and enhance natural shoreline habitats using strategically placed plants, stone, sand fill and other structural and organic materials.
VRA is proud of the work supported through the PDC, which shows Virginia's commitment to meeting the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Program Watershed Agreement to encourage the use of living shoreline techniques as the preferred alternative for stabilizing tidal shorelines.