Industrial Waterfront Study

Chesapeake Industrial Waterfront Study Open House

Thanks to all who were able to join us for our Open House October 26th! 

If you could not make it, please view our PowerPoint Presentation given by our consultants on ideas and key recommendations for the Southern River of the Elizabeth River.

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Project Background

Historically, the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River (“Southern Branch”) has been a heavy industrial corridor with good access to the Chesapeake Bay and the Port of Virginia. High demand for waterfront industrial, residential, commercial, and recreational uses requires a balanced approach that prioritizes space for industrial businesses critical to the local economy and tax base while finding opportunities to connect the community to the river. 

The Hampton Roads region is experiencing the nationwide phenomenon of sea level rise, stormwater flooding, and recurrent flooding events. The resilience and adaptation element of this project will have multiple benefits, including recommendations for strengthening and protecting the City's valued industrial waterfront businesses; better information for affected businesses and residents in making long-term plans; and guidance for the City's Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets. This study could also help inform and augment the Public Works Department's Master Drainage Plan and supporting drainage area studies.

The Industrial Waterfront Study Story map provides a walkthrough that visually explains the project overview, study area, and major goals of the study.

Relevant News

News: Check out the article from WHRO about the Industrial Waterfront Study!

IDW October 2023 Community Open House
IDW October 2023 Community Open House

Community Feedback

Industrial Waterfront Community Response Map

The major goals of this study are:

  • To understand the current conditions of Chesapeake’s “industrial waterfront,” and what influences the use of the land and success of the land for economic development;

  • To determine preferred future land uses based on current and anticipated future conditions relative to coastal hazards associated with heavy rain events, recurrent flooding, and sea level rise, which may impact future preferred uses;

  • To identify the range of adaptation strategies that can increase the resilience of coastal and riverine areas and increase opportunities for economic development;

  • To understand the type and magnitude of costs and benefits associated with each strategy; and

  • To establish a framework by which other communities in the City can evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of different approaches for particular coastal or flood-prone areas.

For more information about this study, please contact project manager Lucy Stoll by email at

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