Snapshot: Wetlands Watch has been working on sea level rise adaptation for nearly a dozen years. We have a full adaptation agenda that includes practical approaches, like training the landscape professionals who will do the resilience work. We pitched that to the “Coastal Community Resilience Challenge” being run out of Norfolk, Virginia, and were one of 7 finalists out of 51 international proposals. Final pitch comes up in February.
Backstory: Everyone talks about “nature based solutions” to flooding and stormwater management, but few think about who will do this work. Wetlands Watch has been working for nearly a decade on this issue, efforts that evolved into the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) program, a Virginia-Maryland effort to train and certify landscape professionals in nature-based practices. The CBLP trains and certifies landscape professionals from designers, to installation professionals, to landscape management crews. The program’s goal is to expand the trained workforce as demand increases for landscape-based/nature-based stormwater and flood mitigation approaches.
As the CBLP grows and expands into other Chesapeake Bay states, we want to develop an intense effort in coastal Virginia, developing appropriate practices and training landscape professionals about them. With expanded certification we hope to develop a “brand” for the CBLP that will give certified professionals a preferred status in bidding for work, given their ability to insure performance and sustainability of the installations.
One special aspect of our proposal is the use of the “CBLP-A” apprenticeship program, where we bring new, younger practitioners into the profession in an apprentice training program. The other element we are excited about is using our university-local government partnership program, the Collaboratory, to bring academia into this area of development.
We are preparing our final “pitch” now and hope to be successful in February.