‘Coastal Community Meeting’ highlights Hampton Roads’ climate threats and solutions thanks to federal investment

For Immediate Release:
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023

Lee Francis | Deputy Director
Virginia League of Conservation Voters
(434) 989-3197 | lfrancis@valcv.org


U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott joins with local, state leaders and advocates to discuss infrastructure investments to boost coastal resiliency, clean energy


HAMPTON – Today, environmental, labor, and veterans’ advocates joined with local, state and federal leaders to discuss the very real impact that climate change is having on coastal Virginia and solutions to this crisis made possible by federal policies and historic investments in climate action.

The “Coastal Community Meeting,” hosted by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters in partnership with BlueGreen Alliance, Common Defense and Climate Action Virginia at the Hampton History Museum, featured Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) as its keynote speaker.

“Today’s community forum was a great opportunity to discuss our work on the climate crisis. Through the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other climate and resilience initiatives, significant progress has been made,” said Scott. “However, further collaboration will be critical to the Hampton Roads region as we look to create good-paying jobs and prioritize environmental justice as we continue to combat the climate crisis.”

In a time of increasing extreme weather and rising sea levels, coastal communities are suffering disproportionately. As a result of frequent flooding, residents and business owners experience property loss, economic hardships, and health problems.

In addition to the very real environmental challenges, coastal resilience is a national security issue for our dedicated military personnel, in the heart of the nation’s naval presence. Virginia’s coastal communities are a vital part of our national security, industry, and economy and they need to be safeguarded against the impacts of climate change.

“As veterans, we know that climate change poses a dire threat to our country, and our coastal communities are particularly vulnerable,” said Perry O’Brien, Climate Justice Director of Common Defense. “Thanks to federal investments, we now have a historic opportunity to protect our communities while building a new clean energy economy that will create millions of good union jobs. Veterans are on the frontlines of this transition, and we’re proud to continue serving our country while also creating new opportunities in communities like the Hampton Roads region.”

Recent federal climate investments made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and other federal legislation will provide opportunities for the region and combat climate change to improve the Commonwealth’s coastal resilience and national security.

These investments will also help create good-paying union jobs here in Hampton Roads and across the Commonwealth.

“The Biden administration has enacted new policies and investments not only in the clean economy, but also in the communities who need them the most – workers of color and disadvantaged groups who’ve been hit hard by the transition to cleaner, cheaper energy,” said Dan Taylor, Regional Field Organizer with BlueGreen Alliance. “If Virginia can capitalize on the billions of dollars available for climate justice and climate resilience in coastal communities, families across the Hampton Roads region win. We have a responsibility to provide workers in the state with good-paying union jobs and a healthy environment and are committed to working toward a clean, prosperous future for all with our partners.”

With Hampton Roads positioning itself as a hub for the offshore wind industry on the East Coast, this region is playing a huge role in meeting Virginia’s clean energy commitments, while also helping lead in the federal clean energy transition.

“Hampton Roads has always been looked to as ‘ground zero’ for climate impacts here in Virginia. But thanks to federal investment, as well as our state’s plans to reach 100 percent clean energy, this region is also playing a huge role in addressing this crisis,” said Catherine Setaro, Hampton Roads Organizer with Virginia LCV.

About us:
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters serves as the political voice of the state’s conservation community, working to make sure Virginia’s elected officials recognize that our natural heritage is an environmental and economic treasure for all. Virginia LCV works with conservation leaders across Virginia and strives for a conservation majority in state government. We secure good public policies on the state level and hold public officials accountable for their positions on environmental issues. For more information, visit www.valcv.org.