Subject Expertise: Water
(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 →
(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 →
(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 →
(2014) The Elizabeth River Eastern Branch Strategy is being developed by multiple stakeholders within the Elizabeth River watershed. The Institute, working with the Elizabeth River Project, served as facilitator throughout the project, including four large group meetings. After creating the vision below, the group reached consensus on a series of goals and actions intended to identify and address contamination, restore wildlife habitat, and engage the public. The initial planning phase was completed in August 2014, with implementation expected to take a number of years. A healthy, enduring... Continue reading →
(2014) With planning beginning in January, a contract finalized in May, and five meetings held between August and November 2014, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Office of Drinking Water convened a stakeholder group of 31 individuals to make recommendations for updating drinking water regulations for the Commonwealth of Virginia. RAP members were selected by ODW. Membership represented diverse interests across the state, including local utilities, private providers, advocates for low-income housing, and others. The Waterworks Regulations Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP) process was... 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 →
(2007-2008) Founded in 1988, Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River (Friends) is a community watershed organization with a mission to improve and protect the purity, beauty, and natural flow of the North Fork Shenandoah River, a major tributary of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. Friends’ founders worked from its inception with fellow nonprofit organizations and government agencies to address water quality and quantity challenges confronting the North Fork. Currently, Friends’ is pursuing a strategic planning effort in order to be more focused in achieving its goals and... Continue reading →
(2007) The IEN facilitated a consensus-building process to help the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) consider amendments to portions of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board's Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit Regulations. IEN work included refining the goals and desired outcomes of the discussion, interviewing members of a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to introduce the consensus building process and assess key needs, interests and concerns, and facilitating three meetings of the TAC. The Board approved the proposed MS4 General Permit... Continue reading →