A partnership between the city of Hampton and the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District will make it easier for a few residents whose properties are flood prone to install living shorelines for protection.
Living shorelines are the commonwealth’s default method for erosion control, but also help reduce the impact of flooding. The grasses, other vegetation and rocks help hold soil in place and buffer encroaching water. The shorelines also provide habitats for animals and improve water clarity by helping control algae growth.
The program usually serves other areas, such as Williamsburg and York County, but the partnership has enough funds to support 10 Hampton residents this year.
“Living shorelines are a major component to having a resilient and protected waterfront, which is a vital piece of our Hampton identity,” said Allison Jackura, Hampton’s zoning administrator.
The City Council signed a memorandum of understanding last year with the CSWCD for a year and will review the program’s success and discuss additional funding to include more residents.
Approved projects will be reimbursed up to 80% of the costs unless the project exceeds $30,000. Property owners can be paid up to half or up to $15,000 of the reimbursed funds in advance and the rest when the project is finished.
The selected residents will receive funding from the city, which uses state money from the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program.
Hampton is the first Hampton Roads city to form an agreement with VCAP to help residents build living shorelines with financial incentives like cost-sharing.
“The effort as a whole shows a lot of great ambition and forward-thinking by Hampton,” said Robyn Woofey, an urban conservationist with the CSWCD.
Residents can contact Jackura at Allison.Jackura@Hampton.gov, or by calling 757-728-5233, to schedule a meeting to see if they qualify.
Everett Eaton, 262-902-7896, email@example.com