Virginia Coastal Policy Center


Governor McAuliffe announced that the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) was awarded $834,991 in federal funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Coastal Resilience Grant appropriations. As part of the VIMS project to address flooding issues across coastal Virginia by developing an informative tool that will allow local planners in 37 coastal counties to determine suitable areas to implement natural infrastructure solutions, VIMS & VCPC will work closely with Wetlands Watch, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, and a number of state agencies.

Virginia Environmental Endowment
Awards Grant to VCPC
VCPC is pleased to announce it has received a generous grant from the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE). VEE was critical to the establishment of VCPC in 2012 and has continued to provide support on an annual basis. This year’s funds will support VCPC’s 5th annual conference, as well as a variety of projects including the development of a "Civics 101" program with the Southeast Community in Newport News, and researching various legal and policy questions related to Virginia localities' ability to address sea level rise. Additional information about VEE, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is available at
conf save date

On Saturday, April 22, 2017 William & Mary Law School and its Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) hosted family and friends of the late Sharon Coles-Stewart J.D. ’75 to dedicate a memorial tree that was planted at the school in her honor. Read full story here.


"Costs of Doing Nothing": Economic Toll of Sea Level Rise Could Be Significant in Hampton Roads, Study Finds. Read the press releaseRead the report summary and full report (opens .pdf).  

Storms will cost more as sea levels rise, report warns

Associated Press, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Daily Progress, The Free Lance-Star, Bristol Herald Courier, The Virginian-Pilot
School of Law – Virginia Coastal Policy Center

Read More

Report says sea-level rise has major economic consequences for Hampton Roads

Richmond Times-Dispatch
School of Law – Virginia Coastal Policy Center

Read More 

About VCPC

The Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) at the College of 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 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 College 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.

Click here to view the VCPC's latest newsletter.