Virginia is faced with many coastal challenges, confounded by sea level rise and climate change. Sustainability for our coastal communities requires consideration of the effects outside of individual project and municipal borders. Planning, permitting, and implementing these projects often require partnering for funding, reaching beyond municipal borders, and crossing over state boundaries. Collaboration is a must. It is dependent on transparency and communication to get it done. Our presentation will evaluate data from projects throughout the Virginia coastal communities and provide a list of tools used and benefits achieved. We will include ways to achieve multiple outcomes and better regulatory buy in, that include new software applications, innovative funding, and collaboration tools to achieve expedited permitting. Information obtained for this report will include data collected from Virginia universities, engaged in coastal focus areas, and non-profits focused on sustainable restoration and long-term revitalization of our Chesapeake Bay water assets.
Amelia DaCruz is Senior Environmental Professional at Geosyntec, leading efforts in coastal focused projects for over 25 years. A native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has collaborated with non-profits, military, academia, and commercial organizations on projects, throughout the US and abroad. An Eco toxicologist, certified in US for 18 years, her focus is on water quality and ecological impacts within a watershed community. Her projects have included water transmission lines and treatment, mission critical buildings and runways, coastal restoration, and riverine remediation, and permitting. With a Bachelor of Arts in Bio-chemistry, a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and a Master’s of Science in Environmental Science, she has established three biomonitoring / culturing facilities, environmental research laboratories focused on corals, urchins, sedimentation and wave impacts, in addition to evaluating chemical impacts on a variety of marine and freshwater invertebrates. Amelia currently serves as National Mentor Lead for the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), and Vice President of the Peninsula Post. A recipient of both the Virginia Governor’s Award for Education and SAME Professional of the Year, she looks for opportunities to engage and encourage youth in coastal awareness.