Virginia Beach

Back Bay marsh restoration a focus among southern Virginia Beach projects in referendum – The Princess Anne Independent News – Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia 2021-10-11 10:18:48 –

Floods in southern Virginia Beach can be caused by winds blowing from the south pushing water into Back Bay. Above, high water levels can be seen on Hornpoint Road in the Pungo district in September 2021. The project to raise funds when the Bond Referendum passes is a Back Bay wetland restoration project aimed at slowing the advancement of water in the bay when the wind blows. -A tide flood event will occur. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Ed. — Printed version from Sunday, October 3rd.

SANDISNIDER and JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE

court— City voters are considering whether to support $ 567.5 million Bond referendum This speeds up major projects aimed at combating floods, and a series of conferences in southern Virginia Beach, including those that could help restore declining aquatic plants in Back Bay. The focus was on the effort.

On Wednesday, September 1, Councilor Barbara Henley, Senior Resource Center, Inc. Hosted a conference in 2019 to follow up on a focus group discussion on the ongoing dangers of the Backbay region due to wind floods.

Following the public opinion, the city is Dewberry Engineers, Inc. Asked to study ways to reduce the effects of floods in and around the bay. Last month, at the Senior Resource Center, Dewberry’s Alaurah Moss and Brian Batten gave a presentation on the assessment of flood mitigation strategies that emerged from community conversations. The strategy was to create an artificial cove that could drain water from the bay when the tide was low, a reverse siphon system that would move water from the bay to the sea, and a pumping facility that would drain water from the bay to the sea. And the swamp recovery plan.

According to the project outline, three of the plans require significant construction that can have an environmental impact.

Artificial coves need to be built on Little Island in Sandbridge, and the cost can be exorbitant. The reverse siphon option is cheaper, but it also has many production obstacles. Pumping facilities will also need to be built on Little Island, affecting the two acres of wetlands to be built.

According to the presentation, the wetland recovery option scored the most positive of the alternatives and had the least environmental impact. $ 40 million in “green infrastructure” solutions, including wetland restoration in Back Bay, will be part of the funding. When the referendum of flood mitigation bonds passes.

Project area map for Back Bay wetland restoration efforts. [City of Virginia Beach]

The Marsh Terrace project was talked about at the Princess Ann District Forum in the city center on Thursday, September 23rd. A public relations meeting on the project will be held on Thursday, October 14th at 6 pm at Crease Elementary. School, 920 Princess Anne Road.

The purpose of the Marsh Terrace project is to rebuild lost wetlands and naturally slow down water flow. This helps prevent extreme floods, as more aquatic plants have inhabited the bay in the past.

“The goal is to get up quite slowly, so far, because there are no swamps, so it’s very fast to get up,” Henry said on Thursday, September 23.

Slowing it down can give the area time for the wind to move, which is how the water comes out of the bay.

“This pilot project allows us to see if it works,” says Henry. “And if it works, we can do much more. In Back Bay, I think we can exchange about 2,000 acres of land. That’s 200.”

This wetland restoration program is part of an overall urban policy to address concerns about rising sea levels and floods, and a wetland terrace pilot program is currently underway to restore some of the vegetation lost in the bay. is. The project plans to add 260 acres of wetlands by constructing a wetland terrace in the bay. According to the city, in addition to slowing the water driven into the bay by the southerly winds, the returning wetland grass will provide wildlife habitat and improve water quality.

A preliminary study was conducted with the help of Virginia Tech scientists, and a similar project was successfully launched in the Gulf of Mexico. Matching grants have been approved by the federal government to help fund this project to help speed the process.

Toni Utterback, administrator of Virginia Beach’s Stormwater Engineering Center, talks about a project in Southern Virginia Beach that will be funded if the referendum passes. Aterbach spoke at the Princess Anne District Forum in the city center on Thursday, September 23rd. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

At a recent district forum, Henry and Tonia Tarbach, managers of the city’s Stormwater Engineering Center, discussed the Marsh Terrace project and three engineering projects at the Referendum. Raise the flood-prone section of Pungo Ferry Road from Blackwater Road to the bridge and raise the intersection of the Sandbridge and Newbridge roads.

Utterback discussed during the meeting the differences in flood concerns in the southern basin and where these projects fit.

“The idea for southern river basins is to use natural mitigation measures to slow down water and combine it with designed defenses to control water,” said Utterback.

“We valued the various opportunities for wetland restoration projects,” she said. “We wanted a place that was most likely to benefit from flood reduction and habitat restoration.”

The Wetland Restoration Project is located within the Back Bay National Wildlife Sanctuary in an area that is experiencing “significant degradation,” which means vegetation and habitat loss. According to her, about 2,000 acres of wetland habitat was eroded in Back Bay in the last century and is now open water, with many of the submerged aquatic plants lost.

“Without vegetation, there is no resistance to slowing down the water,” she said.

City modeling predicts that thousands of acres of wetlands can be lost inactive. This project means making the bay more elastic by adding wetland island habitat and stabilizing what is there.

“The main goal of the Wetland Restoration Project is to add resilience to Back Bay by restoring and creating new wetland island habitats,” said Utterback.

Rendering of a proposed $ 69 million project funded if the bond referendum passes: Westneck Bridge Exchange. This includes raising the bridge road and building an underwater miter gate that can protect assets north of Westneck Creek. [Courtesy/City of Virginia Beach]

visit www.vbgov.com/rippleeffect For more information on each project, attend one of the upcoming community meetings virtually or directly to find out more and answer your questions.


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Back Bay marsh restoration a focus among southern Virginia Beach projects in referendum – The Princess Anne Independent News Source link Back Bay marsh restoration a focus among southern Virginia Beach projects in referendum – The Princess Anne Independent News

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