Tidewater Current





Original Content & Curated News Featuring Sustainable Endeavors in Coastal Virginia & beyond.

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ReefLab_TilesReef Design Lab tiles have been installed in two Chesapeake Bay tributaries to study recruitment of native flora and fauna. Image: World Harbour Project

VIMS Participates in International Harbour Initiative

With major metro areas built around ports across the globe, coastal cities share common concerns. The World Harbour Project (WHP) was formed by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science to foster collaboration between scientists on shared issues relating to the blue urban environment, including water quality and loss of biodiversity. Scientist Rochelle Seitz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has joined the WHP's global network of scientists investigating how to enhance the built marine environment and bring back native biodiversity lost to urbanization. Researchers representing more than a dozen institutions are involved in the Bivalve Restoration Project.

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AIA - National Resilience Initiative

Designing a Coastal Future in the Face of Sea Level Rise

Though it may be small, the Hampton University Architecture Department shows big promise in the resiliency arena.  According to Associate Professor, Mason Andrews, HU is now offering a certification in Sea Level Rise Adaptation with courses starting in January 2017.  She also notes that HU was recently selected as “one of six architecture schools to head regional efforts” for the AIA Foundation’s National Resilience Initiative. Even more impressive is the $120 million HUD award made to the Commonwealth, largely earmarked for a design strategy hatched by HU architecture students collaborating with Mujde Erten-Unal 's engineering counterparts from Old Dominion University.  Andrews has another ambitious plan in mind: Continue Reading.

Paris Treaty Tracking MapCountries with Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) - Plans to meet the Paris Treaty targets. Image: World Resources Institute

Climate Protection Proliferation

The Paris Climate Treaty is scheduled to enter into force Nov. 4. A major milestone in the battle against climate change, the Paris Agreement failed to include anything about the growing greenhouse emissions from the airline or coolant industries. Two rapidly growing sectors of the global economy. The good news is that initiatives to curb emissions from these industry sectors were also agreed upon this Fall.

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The Governor of Virginia, Secretary of the Navy & Dominion CEO sign an energy initiative agreemnt on a ceremonial solar panel at Ocean Naval Air Station

Solar Projects Soar

High School rooftops, military installations and an electric cooperative in Virginia are supporting solar. Read more about recent ground-breaking initiatives, including the 21 MW solar farm planned at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach. Read Post.

Image: Oceana Naval Air Station on August 2, 2016 - The Governor of Virginia, Secretary of the Navy & Dominion CEO sign a renewable energy initiative agreement on a ceremonial solar panel. Photo: U.S. Navy by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Yarborough

CORRT Grow Oyster ReefsCopying Nature:  Biomimicry in Oyster Reef Restoration

Nonprofit and government agencies led by the Army Corps of Engineers have mobilized oyster restoration efforts. There’s just one problem. There is a shortage of natural shell to rebuild reefs. According to Jim Wesson of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, “the price of shell has tripled over the last five years.” With high demand for shell for oyster aquaculture and limited supply available, the VMRC recommends the use of artificial substrate for sanctuary reefs which are not harvested.  A new and unique reef material developed by an award winning Charlottesville architect and entrepreneur, looks to be a promising product to help fill the void.

Read More - Image: Grow Oyster Reefs

Fish Rules App

Resources & Apps for Enjoying Nature in and around Coastal Virginia

There are many opportunities to get out an experience nature in the region. From pollinator gardening in your own backyard to venturing further afield, a whole host of free resources and apps are available to help residents and visitors enjoy the great outdoors in person or virtually. Highlighted in this feature are programs that share useful environmental info for touring, fishing, hiking, and paddling.

Read More | Image: Fish Rules, Anglers App.

Please House Point

Place Making, Habitat Preservation & Sustainable Design on the Lynnhaven River

With Accreditation & Acclaim, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Establishes a High Profile Presence in Tidewater

To achieve net zero impact on the environment, the Brock Center produces its own energy and water while many of the facility amenities were salvaged. In addition to going above and beyond in the office design, the entire Pleasure House Point site is undergoing ecological enhancement. Read More.


Virginia Benefits from Down to Earth Applications of Space Agency Research

Monitoring earth systems from the vantage of space provides critical weather, land use, and environmental data. With some data sets covering decades, important trends can be identified to inform land users and policy makers. In the Commonwealth, work is underway on innovative projects that will have benefits extending from the shore to the mountains. Existing remotely sensed data is being used to support the wine industry while innovative microsatellite networks are in development to improve hurricane forecasting along the the coast.

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Plastic Pollution

National Microbead Ban Signed by the President! Read More.

Fashion Sends an SOS for the Ocean - Apparel fabricated from plastic debris recovered from the sea is rolling into the marketplace. In a campaign championed by Virginia Beach native and pop icon Pharrell Williams, the artist is spotlighting the plight caused by pollution and an innovative solution. Through his contribution, he hopes to garner support and catalyze action. Read Post.

The Climate Cure: Balancing Earth's Carbon Equilibrium by Transforming a Climate Liability into a Commodity

World leaders agreed in Paris December 2015 to constrain global greenhouse emissions. During the landmark UN event, 195 countries committed to take steps that will slow the climate warming trend and limit the global thermostat from inching 2 degrees Celsius above historic averages.

By engineering high tech as well as down to earth strategies, entrepreneurs aim to cash in on the carbon conundrum. A host of pioneering carbon offsetting initiatives are discussed including carbon trading, regenerative agriculture and biomass fixing, as well as drawing down ambient CO2 as a feedstock for products including fuel.

Bay-Saver Bags similar to the Gulf-Saver Bags pictured here were planted along the Maryland shoreline as a carbon offset. Read more about developing carbon assets through biomass storage.



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