Governor Youngkin announces $500 million in budget for conservation projects

December 19, 2023

Projects affecting the Eastern Shore are included

RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin Friday announced over $500M in Virginia’s budget for additional conservation funding, furthering the administration’s commitment to Virginia’s natural resources. The funding will be dedicated to key conservation and stewardship programs to address water quality, flooding, parks, dam safety, land preservation, and habitat restoration.

“As Virginians, we are blessed to be surrounded by an abundance of treasured natural resources. This investment delivers on my administration’s steadfast commitment to ensure our natural resources are preserved for future Virginians to enjoy. We are prioritizing funding to further advance Chesapeake Bay goals, support vulnerable communities at risk of flooding, and bolster state parks,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. 

Since taking office, the Youngkin Administration has continued to engage with key stakeholders, including the agriculture communities and localities, and prioritized continuing water quality improvements, providing the necessary support for best management practices, and strengthening critical infrastructure. In response, the administration is directly addressing those concerns, and dedicating over $250 million of today’s announcement to address water quality improvements. These efforts will represent substantial progress towards meeting Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay goals, but will have impacts throughout the Commonwealth.

While Virginia’s coastal communities are most at risk, flooding affects the entire Commonwealth. This investment reflects the Administration’s commitment to protecting all citizens of the Commonwealth from flooding, with investments in the Community Flood Preparedness Fund and the further support of the Resilient Virginia Revolving Loan Fund that will support critical infrastructure to further protect those at risk.

While directly targeting conservation and protection of our resources, this funding will play an indispensable role in catalyzing new job creation and fostering sustainable economic growth. While there is still more work to be done, funding these priority areas is a critical step to provide support to our beloved natural resources.

“Governor Youngkin has consistently made promoting conservation and responsible stewardship a priority and that is reflected in these investments. We take seriously the responsibility to manage and promote our resources in a way that ensures they continue to flourish and are protected, while producing even more benefit for Virginia. We have committed to doing so in a transparent manner by listening to the needs of stakeholders and providing support in key targeted areas that will advance conservation across the Commonwealth,” said Virginia Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources Travis Voyles.  

The projects  that might affect the Eastern Shore include:

  • Over $200M for Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) implementation to work towards meeting the Commonwealth’s Chesapeake Bay water quality goals  
  • $3M to fuel the expansion of the Virginia Oyster Replenishment Program, catalyzing job creation and protecting Virginia’s oyster population  

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