The Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) exists to develop and support integrated and
adaptive management of coastal zone resources. To fulfill this mission, the Center undertakes
research, provides advisory service, and conducts outreach education. These tasks are
carried out by a staff of professional scientists and technical experts using a mix of state
funding and grant/contract support.
Within its broader mission, the Center has specific tasks to support Virginia’s wetlands
and shoreline management programs. These core activities create a natural focus on the
littoral zone and riparian lands in coastal and estuarine areas. Management of resources in
these areas has evolved from resource-specific considerations to system-level perspectives. The Center has been an active agent in this change, and has developed the required
internal capabilities and external collaborations to support multidisciplinary approaches to
management and policy issues.
The Wetlands Program deals with both tidal and nontidal wetlands. The program conducts
basic research on the structure and functions of these systems, collaborating with researchers
throughout the mid-Atlantic region. A wide variety of applied research is also undertaken. This
includes policy option analysis, functional assessment methods, inventory and monitoring
techniques, and creation/restoration protocols. The Wetlands Program provides extensive
support to the Commonwealths two management programs through review of individual
tidal wetland permit applications, training for local and state managers, and development
management of data bases supporting and tracking regulatory program activities.
The Coastal Inventory Program has a basic mission to monitor tidal shoreline conditions and
to develop policy/management recommendations based on analysis of that information. The
Coastal Inventory Program has developed extensive capabilities in geographic information
systems and in analysis of remotely sensed information. It has expanded its inventorying
activities to include almost all terrestrial and aquatic resources within the coastal zone in
support of the Center’s focus on integrated and adaptive management. Development of GIS based
analytical protocols has become a major activity in the Coastal Inventory. Development
of these tools has proven to be a most effective mechanism for integrating technical
understanding and extensive data sets in a format that is comprehensible and informative for
managers. The Coastal Inventory generates detailed shoreline condition inventories for every
tidal county and city as part of its basic mission, and shares its extensive GIS data bases with
state and federal agencies throughout the region.
The Coastal Watersheds Program evolved to deal with the water quality/quantity, land use, and habitat issues that were part of integrated management of
coastal resources. The program focuses on basic and applied research in support of policy
and regulation development. There are both regional and international elements in the
Coastal Watershed Program. The program is working on development of indicators for health
of aquatic ecosystems, use conflict management plans for shallow waters, anadromous fish
spawning and nursery habitat studies, and climate change impact assessments. Because
much of the work on use conflict analysis, shallow water management, and fishery habitat
assessment is of interest in coastal systems around the world, the Center manages growing
international collaborations through the Coastal Watersheds Program.
The Center for Coastal Resources Management provides annual reports to showcase research and Center activities. Links to reports are available for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Other Links Related to CCRM
- Quality Assurance/Quality Control
- History of CCRM
- CCRM 2007 Strategic Plan