What We Do 

The Secretary of Natural Resources advises the Governor on natural resources issues and works to advance the Governor's top environmental priorities. The Secretary oversees six agencies that protect and restore the Commonwealth’s natural and historic resources. The Secretary's office and all of the natural resources agencies work together to uphold the provisions of Article XI of the Virginia Constitution:

To the end that the people have clean air, pure water, and the use and enjoyment for recreation of adequate public lands, waters, and other natural resources, it shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to conserve, develop, and utilize its natural resources, its public lands, and its historical sites and buildings.

Further, it shall be the Commonwealth's policy to protect its atmosphere, lands, and waters from pollution, impairment, or destruction, for the benefit, enjoyment, and general welfare of the people of the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) is mandated by the Commonwealth of Virginia to conduct research and provide sound scientific advice concerning the often-contentious issues surrounding use and conservation of marine resources.

In the years since their founding in 1940, they have developed unique capabilities in people, practices, and infrastructure that allow us to provide the honest, unbiased science and guidance needed to help address the pressing issues facing our rivers, estuaries, coasts, and ocean.

Bay Data

DuPont NRDAR Settlement Submissions Open

DuPont released mercury, a toxin that causes adverse effects in fish and wildlife, from its former facility in Waynesboro, Virginia between 1929 and 1950. The mercury continues to affect fish and wildlife along the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River watershed.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Secretary of Natural Resources (the Trustees) worked cooperatively with DuPont to assess potential impacts, and the Trustees proposed a settlement that includes over $42 million for restoration projects. The United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia approved the settlement on July 28, 2017. The Trustees are now working to implement the best projects to benefit the injured natural resources across the impacted watershed.

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Recent News

Governor McAuliffe Announces New Solar Project in King William County
Governor McAuliffe this week announced the permit for a new solar facility to be built in King William County. Dominion Energy received authorization from the Department of Environmental Quality to construct and operate a solar farm, Hollyfield
Governor McAuliffe Announces RFP to Deploy $14 Million for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in Virginia
Governor McAuliffe today announced the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) to deploy an interconnected and statewide public electric vehicle charging network. The request is part of the Governor’s broader Electric Vehicle (EV) Initiative, which
Governor McAuliffe Announces $12.5 Million Grant Round for Historic Preservation and Landscape Conservation
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the release of a grant round, administered by the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF), for projects that will conserve, protect, and benefit historically and culturally significant resources.
Governor McAuliffe Announces $4.23 Million in Virginia Land Conservation Grants
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF) grants totaling $4.23 million for 23 projects which will help protect 4,390 acres in the commonwealth. VLCF grants are used by private land trusts, local
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