Where Virginia's Innovative Climate Fund Went Wrong
Peter Coutu reports in Governing on efforts to fund a unique climate resilience program in Virginia.
The Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund was a "first-of-its-kind" loan program when approved in 2016, Coutu writes, but it is a legislative shell—existing on the books but never receiving dedicated funding. He writes:
"Instead of just trying to mitigate current flood damage, the new revolving fund would help homeowners and businesses elevate their properties to prepare for sea level rise ... It would not only save residents a fortune on their property, but also maintain ever-important tax revenues for local governments on the coast."
Now, Virginia Conservation Network, a group of more than 100 environmental organizations, is calling on the state to dedicate $50 million annually to the fund. The region is especially vulnerable to climate change because the land is subsiding while the sea is rising, they say, and the program would help bolster resilience without losing government money.