White Stone Oysters

White Stone Oysters

Photo by Chris Ross Harris


The Eastern Shore, Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck, with the assistance of the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, have issued a video and companion storymap highlighting local marine and seafood businesses across the three regions.

The project was undertaken as part of the conclusory recommendations from the Virginia Working Waterfront Master Plan, issued in 2016.  The Plan’s recommendations called for cooperation among federal government entities, the Virginia General Assembly, the Governor, the Virginia Port Authority, Commonwealth agencies, coastal Planning Districts, local governments, and the private sector to support the resources on which vibrant waterfront businesses depend. Working waterfront businesses include seafood harvesting and processing, recreational boating/fishing, and ports. The goal of the Master Plan is to facilitate the preservation and development of working waterfronts in Virginia.  

The Northern Neck Planning District Commission led this public outreach and private sector segment of a multiyear project on Virginia’s Working Waterfronts, funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (CZM), a network of state agencies and coastal localities led by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). CZM is engaged in projects throughout Virginia to protect, restore, and strengthen coastal ecosystems and economies in partnership with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. The video was produced by Lot 7 Media, and filmed in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, and is available: http://www.northernneck.us/workingwaterfronts. Each region supplied information from local businesses for the storymap which is also on http://www.northernneck.us/workingwaterfronts.

According to CZM Program Manager Laura McKay, “Virginia’s working waterfronts are a significant part of the cultural heritage of the coastal area as well as an economic driver for the state. Recreational boating, recreational and commercial fishing, aquaculture industries, and ecotourism contribute to Virginia’s economic growth as well as the high quality of life, especially in the rural coastal areas.” 

Northern Neck Planning District Commission (NNPDC) Executive Director Jerry W. Davis said, “For decades, the NNPDC has worked with working waterfronts and localities to encourage business retention and expansion. Working waterfronts are a staple of the economy of the Northern Neck, and a defining part of the Northern Neck Heritage Area.” 

For more information about the Working Waterfronts Program, please visit: https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/CoastalZoneManagement/CZMIssuesInitiatives/WorkingWaterfronts.aspx