Richmond residents will benefit from a new public park through the city’s recent purchase of historic Mayo Island, an acquisition made possible by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
Richmond has acquired the 15-acre island that connects Shockoe Bottom to Manchester, slating it as a public park with outdoor activities. The $15 million deal by the city was made possible through a $7.5 million grant from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and a partnership with the Capital Region Land Conservancy.
Those grant funds came from the Community Flood Preparedness Fund through proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state carbon emission reduction program.
Mayo Island is expected to be conserved with plans for it to become part of the city’s James River Park System.
The project underscores why it is critical for Virginia to rejoin RGGI, as well as commit funding for the Community Flood Preparedness Fund, which prioritizes nature-based, resiliency solutions. Planned restoration work on the historic Mayo Island, which is situated on a floodplain and is currently more than half paved blacktop, is expected to reduce stormwater runoff and alleviate flooding.
Chris Moore, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Virginia Executive Director, said in a statement:
“This is the type of resiliency planning we’d like to see around the state. We applaud Richmond and Virginia leaders for coming together to find funding for this project that has both environmental and public recreational benefits. Richmond residents will now have a new beautiful, historic spot along the James River to enjoy.”
“The Mayo Island purchase highlights why RGGI and the Community Flood Preparedness Fund are so important. Now this treasure situated in the floodplain can be restored and preserved for generations to come.”
“Virginia’s resiliency projects are only becoming more urgent as threats from climate change are seen across the state. Mayo Island demonstrates the multiple benefits from just one of these projects and underscores why Virginia should rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and financially support the nature-based resiliency solutions prioritized by the Community Flood Preparedness Fund.”