Virginia Coastal Policy Center

Students listen to a presentation at Bacon's Castle
Description of field trip to Powhatan Creek
Practicum 1 students got a firsthand look at climate change issues on our trip to Surry County. The class was amazed to see the oldest brick home in Virginia located next door to a solar electricity site and working farm fields adopting important water quality best management practices -- old and new! 

Description of field trip to Bacon's Castle
Our Practicum 1 students enjoyed paddling Powhatan Creek with the James River Association to talk about human impacts on water quality, sensitive tidal environments, and rising sea levels. 
JRA Staff Scientist Erin Reilly talking to VCPC Practicum Students
We are enormously grateful for the turnout and participation at the August 18th, 2021 Northern Neck RAFT One Year Progress Workshop. For those who were not able to attend or would like to review materials from the workshop, check out the RAFT website. raft-screenshot-2021-09-02-161613.pngThe August 18th workshop was not the end of our work in the Northern Neck region, even as we are launching new efforts in the Middle Peninsula. In particular, the RAFT core team will support the Northern Neck Planning District Commission’s upcoming Hazard Mitigation Planning process and will provide startup support as needed to the newly established Resilience Committees that will continue to advance the resilience efforts catalyzed by the last year of RAFT implementation. The RAFT will also create a regional Social Equity Workgroup in early 2022 with funding from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The Workgroup will be constituted to distribute mini-grants to community organizations serving historically excluded and underserved populations and to inform equitable resilience planning in the region more broadly.  



Learn about maps and tools designed to help local governments implement coastal resilience projects and programs, including new tools for nature-based solutions in AdaptVA, plus RAFT, MARISA Community Climate Outlooks, and a new locality Quick Guide to Resilience. Link to video from our successful July 2021 webinar. 

Screenshot of the first page of the Quick Guide to Resilience


The Quick Guide to Resilience was developed by VCPC with generous funding support from the Virginia Environmental Endowment and Virginia Sea Grant. Many thanks to our colleagues at VIMS, HR-PDC, and Old Dominion University for their guidance in review!

The Guide is intended as an easy reference for localities concerning resilience issues, containing vocabulary, brief definitions that can easily be reproduced for locality planning purposes, and links to important information sources. It is also featured on ADAPTVA




VCPC Director Speaks at W&M Alumni Event About Policies to Address Flooding

On May 26th, VCPC Director Elizabeth Andrews spoke at an event for William & Mary alumni, Environmental Resilience in Virginia. Dr. Molly Mitchell from VIMS spoke about sea level rise and flooding risks in Virginia, and Professor Andrews spoke about policy challenges to addressing those risks. A recording of the event can be found at on YouTube..

About VCPC

The Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) at William & Mary Law School provides science-based legal and policy analysis of ecological issues affecting the state's coastal resources, providing education and advice to a host of Virginia’s decision-makers, from government officials and legal scholars to non-profit and business leaders.

With two nationally prominent science partners – the William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science, one of the largest marine research and education centers in the United States, and Virginia Sea Grant, a nationally recognized broker of scientific information – VCPC works with scientists, local and state political figures, community leaders, the military, and others to integrate the latest science with legal and policy analysis to solve coastal resource management issues. VCPC activities are inherently interdisciplinary, drawing on scientific, economic, public policy, sociological, and other expertise from within the university and across the country. With access to internationally recognized scientists at VIMS, to Sea Grant’s national network of legal and science scholars, and to elected and appointed officials across the nation, VCPC engages in a host of information exchanges and collaborative partnerships.

VCPC grounds its pedagogical goals in the law school's philosophy of the citizen lawyer. VCPC students’ highly diverse interactions beyond the borders of the legal community provide the framework for their efforts in solving the complex coastal resource management issues that currently face Virginia and the nation. Whether it is working to understand the underlying realities of local zoning policies or attempting to identify and reconcile the concerns of multiple stakeholders, VCPC students experience the breadth of environmental lawyering while gaining skills that will serve them well regardless of the legal career they pursue upon graduation.

Download the VCPC Brochure here.