The Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) is holding its annual conference on Friday, December 2, 2016 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia.
*Click here for agenda.
The theme of the conference is "Living with the Water: Too Much, and Too Little." The event will showcase the new Virginia Working Waterfront Master Plan and challenges facing working waterfront communities, and will feature the first public forum on the cutting-edge SWIFT project that would inject treated water into our diminishing groundwater aquifer.
The morning session will feature an introduction and explanation by Bill Pruitt, former chairman of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission of the first Virginia Working Waterfront Master Plan. A panel composed of representatives of the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore communities then will share responses to the plan and discuss the challenges facing working waterfronts in Virginia today. Legislative perspectives will also be part of the discussion. Virginia Coastal Policy Center will also present case studies illustrating the sometimes-conflicting uses of our waterfronts by commercial fishermen, riparian owners and aquaculture interests. The morning session will also feature the Honorable Ralph Northam, Lt. Governor of Virginia will be speaking from 10-10:30 AM.
The second half of the conference begins with Ted Henifin, General Manager of the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, outlining the HRSD's Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT). The proposal involves injecting highly treated wastewater into the groundwater aquifer to replenish the water source and ease land subsidence and saltwater intrusion into the aquifer. VCPC will contribute information highlighting the legal, scientific and policy issues surrounding the SWIFT project. An expert panel then will also comment on the issues raised by the SWIFT project. The panel, moderated by Virginia State Delegate David Bulova, will include Rich Batiuk, Associate Director for Science, Analysis and Implementation at the Environmental Protection Agency; Virginia Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources Russ Baxter; Peggy Sanner, Senior Attorney and Assistant Director for the Virginia office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Jeff Mosher, Chief Research and Strategic Planning Officer of the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation; and Michael Markus, General Manager of the Orange Co., CA Water District, which operates a similar groundwater injection project.
A reception featuring Virginia oysters and a water-themed juried art show at the Muscarelle Museum of Art on the campus of the College of William & Mary concludes the conference. Del. Chris Stolle and Col. Robert Kelly will be featured speakers at the reception.
For more information about the conference, please call (757) 221-3780.