The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation helps localities maintain and improve public beaches to enhance recreation for Virginia's citizens and visitors.
Staff provides technical advice regarding planning and implementation. This includes developing projects that can be funded by the Board of Conservation and Recreation, hiring consultants for design specific information, environmental permitting and developing long-range beach management plans.
With the help of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), DCR has identified sources of beach quality sand in the Chesapeake Bay and off the coast of Virginia Beach. We've also worked with the United States Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service to find beach quality sand beyond the three-mile limit. If Virginia's beaches are severely damaged by a storm, this sand may be used to replenish the beaches.
Public beach monitoring is conducted by localities and DCR, through a contract with the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences. This is done to keep track of the condition of Virginia's public beaches. The data are entered into a public beach database maintained at VIMS. Information from these databases is available to local governments, engineering/ design consultants, environmental interest groups and the general public.
The Board of Conservation and Recreation's public beach duties are to evaluate the financial needs of localities with public beaches and to administer the Matching Grant Fund. This fund provides 50 percent cost-share to localities implementing projects to conserve, protect, improve, maintain and develop public beaches.