by Jonathon Lubrano, VCPC graduate research fellow
Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the bill that created the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency on April 22. As sea level rise creates greater flood risks for many residents in Virginia, policy makers and universities combined efforts to create the Center to coordinate action to effectively and quickly address this problem.
The Commonwealth Center’s mission is to “advise and support the Commonwealth by conducting interdisciplinary studies and investigations and provide training, technical and nontechnical services, and outreach in the area of recurrent flooding and resilience research to the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.”
The Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) will provide legal and policy analysis for the flooding resiliency projects taken on by the Commonwealth Center.
“We are excited for the creation of this partnership,” says Elizabeth Andrews, co-director of the VCPC. “The Center will serve as a one-stop-shop for legal and policy analysis of recurrent flooding in the Commonwealth.”
The Commonwealth Center is an outgrowth of the work of the General Assembly’s joint subcommittee on recurrent flooding; Governor McAuliffe’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission; and the joint efforts of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), Old Dominion University (ODU), and the VCPC.
With funding proposed by Governor McAuliffe and approved by the General Assembly, the partners—VIMS, ODU, and VCPC—are currently developing strategic priorities for the Center. One priority identified by the Governor’s Commission and others is the creation of an online portal that will allow greater access to resources necessary for responding to recurrent flooding and resiliency challenges. VIMS is currently developing this portal with funding from a private foundation. When finished, the portal will support the mission of the Commonwealth Center.