Although Virginia has only 132 miles of ocean coastline, the figure jumps to 7,345 miles when the commonwealth’s tidal shoreline—along its inlets, estuaries, and share of the Chesapeake Bay—also is counted. This gives Virginia one of the longest coasts of any state.
Shorelines shape and support the communities they border. Recreation, tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, and other coastal-dependent businesses are critical to these areas’ economies. In addition, healthy coastal habitats mitigate damage to communities from storms, flooding, and sea level rise, and improve water quality.
In Virginia, the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program involves a consortium of organizations that work to conserve the commonwealth’s coastal resources and foster sustainable development. Below are some of the many ways the commonwealth’s CZM program and its partner organizations sustain and support Virginia’s coastal areas.
Joseph Gordon directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ campaigns to protect marine life on the U.S. East Coast. Zack Greenberg coordinates Pew’s outreach and policy efforts in this region.