Virginia Environmental Endowment Grants Nearly $800,000 for Shoreline Stabilization at Chickahominy Riverfront Park
James City County, VA (March 28, 2019) NYSE, TSX: STN: The Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE) has issued a $781,900 grant to assist James City County in a critical shoreline stabilization project at Chickahominy Riverfront Park. The grant, to be matched by the County, funds the creation of a resilient, living shoreline; counters severe riverbank erosion; and creates or enhances riparian, or vegetated, buffer areas in the county-owned park. Once instituted, the measures will improve water quality and recreation opportunities in the area.
A local team of environmental and engineering experts from Stantec, a leading global design and engineering firm, is providing final design services, permitting, and construction documents for the shoreline projects.
The park is located near Williamsburg, just upstream from the historic James River along the banks of the Chickahominy River. The area boasts scenic vistas, wildlife viewing, camping, and water-based recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, which are defining features of the County.
The shoreline of Chickahominy Riverfront Park is characterized by eroding banks ranging from 3 to 15 feet high, with limited areas of bank stability. This substantial erosion is limiting environmental habitat, encroaching on park infrastructure, and reducing the existing riparian buffer as the shoreline moves inland. The ongoing erosion of the park shoreline causes a significant amount of sediment and nutrient pollution to downstream waterways, including the James River.
The conceptual design for the Chickahominy Riverfront Park project features a living shoreline with breakwaters and beach nourishment on the west side of the park along the Chickahominy River, and marsh enhancement and stabilization using rock marsh sills in specific areas on the north side of the park along Gordon Creek. In addition, the project incorporates approximately 0.75 acres of proposed riparian buffer enhancement and creation.
The overall goal of the project is to reduce the pollutant and sediment load on the James River through stabilization of the shoreline using living shoreline strategies, creating riparian buffer areas through land cover conversion of existing turf areas to a forested land cover, and by enhancing existing riparian buffers. Wildlife and fish habitat benefits are also expected where the marsh creation and bank stabilization occur, in addition to protection of archaeological resources.
“We are excited to help improve the health of the James River while helping address the needs of the park, a significant asset in our community,” said Daniel Proctor, PE, Stantec Project Manager.
In March 2019, the VEE published another request for proposals through their second round of grant funding. If interested, please visit their website for additional details: www.vee.org
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