To Whom It May Concern:
The Community Flood Preparedness Fund is a tremendous answer to sea level rise, and the private land trust community stands ready to help serve these needs of the Commonwealth.
This organization's territory stretches across several counties and I will bring two counties to your attention to illustrate why private land trusts should be considered as a viable partner with a locality when crafting the grant manual, and they are James City County and Mathews County.
-HVLC territory deals primarily in river watersheds, which usher in floodplain problems every year. Rivers are of great concern with respect to flood preparedness. Please include non-coastal areas as eligible to apply for funds.
-James City County has an open space program, where open space ideas continue to be infused into the Comprehensive Plan. This county that is more engaged with conservation than most and would still need to clearly understand the expectations of a completed resilience plan, as requested
-The pandemic has dampened collaborative efforts so it is imperative to allow a reasonable amount of time between grant announcements and due dates, more so now than ever before
-James City County and HVLC are proven partners in conservation, with use of the tool of a conservation easement to protect viewsheds, watersheds, history and agriculture needs in perpetuity. This proven track record will provide necessary custom solutions when acquiring land is part of the solution.
-Mathews County is the largest water county in the Commonwealth and a poor county, with no business tax base to speak of for matching funds for grant opportunities. The matching requirement needs to be either waived in certain circumstances, or as an option existing accounts could serve to represent the match needed for the project.
-Mathews County has a small percentage of its land developed at all and the residents actually live in the floodplains. There is hardly any public land in Mathews County so beach renourishment or storm water management devices would likely be on private lands. Private lands must be considered in these grant funded projects
-The low-income county of Mathews is in desperate need of "community-scale hazard mitigation activities that use nature based solution to reduce flood risk"! Please define community-scale.
Thank you for your time and consideration.