VCPC Reports & Collaborative Documents

Sea Level Rise & Recurrent Flooding

Projections based on historical trends as well as climate data suggest that parts of coastal Virginia are particularly at risk of sea level rise and recurrent flooding. This change could potentially disrupt coastal ecosystems and human development, but forward-thinking governance may mitigate loss of life and property. The following papers discuss Virginia localities’ options and abilities to respond to flooding risks:

Strategic Planning for Sea Level Rise and Recurrent Flooding

These papers discuss current and future ideas for adapting to sea-level rise and recurrent flooding in Virginia, detailing legal frameworks and paths to a more resilient coastline, as well as the economic costs associated with lack of planning:

Potential Liability of State and Local Government

These papers cover the potential for property owners and others to sue the government for failing to maintain infrastructure and services damaged or overwhelmed by sea-level rise and flooding, or for using eminent domain power to put property to public use to combat these hazards. Some discuss tort liability, and others liability associated with governmental takings:

The Dillon Rule

Virginia is a “Dillon Rule State,” which means that localities must have authorization from the legislature to act. These papers analyze the impact of the Dillon Rule on localities’ flooding adaptation strategies and policies:

Social Vulnerability and Environmental Justice

These papers discuss the concept of social vulnerability to recurrent flooding from extreme weather events and sea-level rise:

National Flood Insurance Program & Community Rating System

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's “Community Rating System” (CRS) program awards credits to communities that implement proactive measures to reduce flood risk. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides access to affordable, federally-backed flood insurance protection for property owners. These papers discuss how localities can best work within these frameworks to lower their flood insurance rates:

Collaborative Reports (also see the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency)

Other Reports