Resilience can be defined as the ability for an area to withstand and recover from the unexpected shocks and stresses associated with natural hazards and climate change, such as sea level rise and extreme rainfall events.
The Town of Colonial Beach, with the assistance of a planning and civil and environmental engineering consultant team comprised of The Berkley Group and Tetra Tech, is developing both a Resilience Plan and a Storm water Management Plan for the Town intended to address flooding issues impacting the community, assessing how these issues may be increasing or evolving, and identifying steps and actions to improve the resilience of Town and its residents, businesses, and property owners.
The Resilience Plan will address broad current and future all-cause flooding challenges Town-wide and at the neighborhood level. The Plan will also develop and prioritize a list of projects to mitigate these issues. Once complete and approved, the Plan will not only provide the Town the opportunity to seek project funding from the Community Flood Preparedness Fund (CFPF), a program administered by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) which has awarded over $97.7 million dollars in funding so far, including the $103,500 award to Colonial Beach to fund the creation of these Plans, but will also set the strategy for the Town to explore other funding support, such as FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program.
The Storm water Management Plan component of the project will provide a high-level overview of the Town’s existing storm water infrastructure in Colonial Beach (e.g., storm water pipes, ditches, culverts). The Plan will also review and make recommendations regarding regulatory, administrative, operational, and educational practices in order to improve storm water conditions within the Town, lessening flood impacts from increased rainfall and impacts from sea level rise due to climate change.
Community Engagement and Education
The development of the Resilience and Storm Water Management Plans includes several steps to gain internal and external feedback from the community and key stakeholders on what strategies should be prioritized in both Plans. These steps include:
• Stakeholder Interviews: Engaging key stakeholders through focused interviews on the issues, opportunities, and challenges related to resilience, flooding, storm water management, shoreline management, and climate change.
• Community Survey: A community survey to gather input on perspectives, issues, and impacts regarding flooding’s effects on the Town.
The Community Survey will be activated on April 20 and can be accessed at the following link:
• Public forums: Two (2) public forum to support the development of the Resilience Plan and Storm water Management Plan and collect public feedback and insight.