Institute for Engagement & Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

The Revitalization of Money Point: Restoration and Community Building on an Industrialized River

(2005 - 2006) 

For decades, the Elizabeth River off Money Point has been a 35-acre biological dead zone. Little can survive along the river bottom, laced with some of the highest concentrations of cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the world. Money Point, almost a mile of prominent waterfront at the gateway to Chesapeake, Virginia, will again be celebrated as a hub for maritime activities, this time co-existing with one of the largest environmental restoration efforts on the Chesapeake Bay,thanks to the five revitalization goals developed through a multi-party consensus building process. These range from historic cleanup of the contaminated sediments through a new trust fund, to NOAA's help with the largest voluntary wetland restoration on the Elizabeth River, to virtually every waterfront industry doing its part through voluntary stewardship. The result is an uncommon accomplishment which, when it happens, creates a special euphoria: industries, government and citizens, all agreeing to a common course of environmental action. The Money Point Revitalization Task Force met from January 2005 to August 2006, convened by The Elizabeth River Project and facilitated by University of Virginia's Institute for Environmental Negotiation. Nearly 100 participants came from groups as diverse as a Baptist church, the US EPA and one of the world's largest oil companies. They set the vision - to be the model to the nation for thriving waterfront industry that co-exists with ecological regeneration and yet affirms a residential community's history and safety.

Link to Money Point Revitalization Plan