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

Newsroom
Governor McAuliffe Operates Unmanned Systems in Air, Land and Sea
Governor Terry McAuliffe today operated unmanned systems in three domains - air, land, and sea - during a technology demonstration at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airfield at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. The technology
Virginia to Receive $834,991 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to Reduce Impacts of Storm Flooding
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Virginia will receive $834,991 in federal funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Coastal Resilience Grant appropriations to reduce the impacts of storm flooding through
Governor McAuliffe Announces Recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding State Stewardship
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Virginia State University has received the inaugural Outstanding State Stewardship Award for its preservation of Summerseat, an historic house built around 1860 near present-day VSU. The effort to
Governor McAuliffe Announces Nearly $1.2 Million in Dam Safety and Floodplain Management Grant Awards
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $1.15 million in state grants to help dam owners and Virginia localities enhance public safety, reduce the risk of dam failures, and prevent property damage from flooding.
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