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Chesapeake Bay Act updates address effects of climate change

Updates to Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act that go into effect at the end of September will offer homeowners and developers some limited ways to mitigate the impacts of sea level rise on their property.

Mathews County Planning and Zoning Director Thomas Jenkins said that when the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act was first created, it looked specifically at the effects that upland runoff can have on the quality of the water in the bay and its tributaries. What it did not address, he said, were the effects that sea level rise and climate change would have on those properties over time. The new regulations seek to address those considerations, he said, providing property owners with some measures to help protect their properties from the effects of resultant flooding.

Jenkins, who has attended a number of meetings on the changes, along with his staff, said that all localities will be required to develop ordinances that incorporate the new regulations, but the regulations ...

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