MPPDC discusses providing financial assistance for living shorelines

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Nov 26, 2013 - 01:58 PM

The Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission recently discussed the possibility of seeking revolving loan or grant funds to assist area property owners with living shorelines.

Beth Johnson, a staff member who coordinates the Revolving Loan and Grant Program, presented a report on benefits of living shorelines to the commission during its regular meeting Nov. 20 at MPPDC headquarters in Saluda. That program provides financial assistance to individuals with malfunctioning, failing and absent on-site wastewater treatment systems.

MPPDC executive director Lewis Lawrence said that measures such as grasses can be used to protect a shoreline instead of "shoreline hardening" techniques such as riprap. Living shorelines are a good way to fight erosion.

The commission directed its staff to monitor the situation and see if some funding mechanisms might be available for area residents, Lawrence said.

On a separate matter, Lawrence gave an update about ditches in the region. His report was about a Nov. 8 meeting attended by county and town administrators, Lawrence said, but also Del. Keith Hodges and Quinton Elliott, district administrator for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

That group talked about possible legislative solutions, Lawrence said, such as VDOT revenue-sharing for ditch maintenance. Another suggestion would be to get the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency involved with the ditch issue since flooding ditches can impact the safety of motorists.