Subject Expertise: Water
(2012) Citizens and elected decision-makers are ready and eager to find ways to tackle the difficult issue of how to plan for sea level rise. The results of four community listening sessions in 2011 on sea level rise in Virginia Beach indicate the urgency of the situation: 90% of participants believe that planning for sea level rise should be a priority for local government. Following a presentation to City Council in May 2011, Councilors shared their opinion that more information was needed on the public perception of sea level rise, specifically regarding solutions. This feedback served as... Continue reading →
(2011) - The Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN), in collaboration with Hampton Roads Planning Commission (HRPDC), Wetlands Watch (WW), Old Dominion University (ODU), and the City of Virginia Beach, facilitated a series of four public listening sessions in Virginia Beach in the spring of 2011. This initiative was a first for the state of Virginia and one of the few opportunities for public engagement on sea level rise that has occurred in the nation. The primary goal of this pioneering effort was to provide a forum for residents of urban, suburban, and rural areas of Virginia... Continue reading →
The Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute is a program for emerging leaders confronted with Virginia's most pressing natural resource issues who seek new skills in conflict resolution and collaborative problem solving. VNRLI is comprised of six sessions held over nine months in regions across Virginia, during which Fellows learn about the important environmental issues facing our state through a combination of mini-lectures, experiential exercises, stakeholder panel discussions, and field trips. You can find more information about the program... Continue reading →
(2000) During its second year, the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC) began a strategic planning process and identified near-term goals for the organization. The VWMC developed working committees, organized and initiated an on-going inventory of water-monitoring activities in the state, and developed a survey to determine the needs of organizations involved in monitoring throughout the state. IEN facilitated this Strategic Planning process.
(1986-1987) IEN facilitated the Chesapeake Bay Land-Use Roundtable, an endeavor funded by the Virginia General Assembly and convened to develop consensus for a clear set of policies and programs to guide land use planning and development around the Bay. The recommendations resulting from the 18-month Roundtable served as a basis for the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act. This work was the precursor to more than a dozen Bay-related projects for IEN and to its current work on coastal resilience in the Commonwealth.
(2014) IEN designed and facilitated the Chesapeake Bay Business Forum: Linking Business with the Bay, held in Richmond in March 2014. Attended by businesses of all sizes and types in the Bay watershed, the Forum was initiated and hosted by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. The Forum was the first of several gatherings aimed at increasing the level of engagement with businesses to create strong, effective, and rewarding partnerships to assist the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort. Nearly 100 corporate and small business leaders met to share experiences about their sustainability programs... Continue reading →
(2010 - Present) The Clinch River Valley Initiative (CRVI) is a pioneering effort to build local economies in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia, focusing on the Clinch River Valley—one of the most biodiverse river systems in North America. Working at a watershed scale with several local partners, this grassroots effort has developed significant support and momentum throughout the region. Utilizing a consensus-based approach, project partners have developed goals for connecting downtown revitalization, outdoor recreation, creating a state park, enhancing water quality, entrepreneurship and... Continue reading →
(2014) Virginia’s coastal communities have a long history of active, bustling waterfronts that host a variety of businesses oriented to commercial and recreational fishermen, boaters, the seafood industry, and other water-dependent jobs. The Virginia Coastal Program is developing a plan to help preserve working waterfronts, enhance their economic viability and ensure continued contributions to the fabric of life in the Commonwealth’s coastal zone. The Working Waterfront Workshop in Spring 2014 focused on defining what working waterfronts are, developing consistent inventories, and framing... Continue reading →
State faith, conservation, science, and public policy leaders gathered on November 19, 2013, at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond for "Living Waters: An Interfaith Summit” to discuss stewardship of rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay." The summit brought together a diversity of people to examine water quality through the lens of faith, establish partnerships, and discover collaborative ways to restore and protect our living waters. The all-day forum included presentations from guest speakers followed by group... Continue reading →
(2014) Virginia Sea Grant’s (VSG) annual symposium in Spring 2014 planned a discussion session around the idea of launching a formal design competition for structural and land use approaches to sea level rise in Virginia. Virginia’s coastal zone is at great risk from sea level rise, ranking second in the nation behind New Orleans. In other states, design competitions have been used successfully to help local governments visualize the problems, and provide a political impetus for making changes to plan for sea level rise. With funding from VSG, IEN worked with the session leaders to design... Continue reading →