Governor's Fact Sheet

Q: What will the governor’s contribution pay for?

A: The governor is committing start-up funds for the administration of The Elizabeth RiverRestoration Trust. The purpose of the Trust will be to receive funds for mitigation ofdevelopment impacts in the Elizabeth River watershed. All funds will be spent in the Elizabeth River watershed to implement a Watershed Action Plan developed by The Elizabeth River Project and adopted by the Commonwealth in 1996 in response to a directive from the multiple-state Chesapeake Bay Program to reduce toxics in Regions of Concern on the Chesapeake Bay.


Q: What makes this a “better mitigation option”?

A: Before this fund, developers proposing major projects in the Elizabeth River watershed hadlimited options for achieving mitigation projects within the watershed that were large enough tooffset the impacts. No other mitigation fund focuses primarily on the Elizabeth River watershed, or on implementation of a long-term action plan for the Elizabeth River.


Q: What are some other advantages of the Trust Fund?

A: 1) For smaller projects, the Trust will allow mitigation funds to be pieced together toachieve larger, more meaningful results than might be the case when each small impact ismitigated separately. 2) Some mitigation banks are for-profit ventures. As a non-profit operated in cooperation with The Elizabeth River Project, the goal of the Trust will be to go beyond the minimum required by mitigation laws to achieve maximum improvements to the Elizabeth River watershed.


Q: Will the Trust accept any and all mitigation dollars offered?

A: No. The Trust will reserve the right to refuse mitigation funds when it judges the impactsof a project to be unacceptable, and/or the level of funds insufficient to offset the impacts.


Q: What are the details of how the Trust will operate?

A: Details are currently being finalized by The Elizabeth River Project, the US Army Corpsof Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, in consultation with otherfederal and state agencies. An initial Memorandum of Understanding is available.


Q: What is the relationship between The Elizabeth River Project and The Elizabeth River Restoration Trust?

A: The Elizabeth River Project is setting up the Trust, will appoint its Board of Directors andis likely to manage some of its major projects by contract. However, The Elizabeth RiverRestoration Trust will be an independent organization with a diverse Board of Directors and adiverse Advisory Board.