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

Recent News

Governor McAuliffe visits 37th Virginia State Park
Governor McAuliffe today completed his 37th state park visit, becoming the first sitting governor to tour Virginia’s complete system. His trips to Staunton River, Staunton River Battlefield, and Occoneechee successfully fulfilled the governor’s
Governor McAuliffe Announces Secretary Molly Ward and Deputy Secretary Russ Baxter Receive Environmental Achievement Awards for State Public Service
Governor McAuliffe today announced that two administration officials have received the National Environmental Achievement Award for State Public Service. The National Association of Clean Water Agencies selected Secretary of Natural Resources Molly
Governor McAuliffe Announces Updates to Virginia Flood Risk Information System
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced updates to the Virginia Flood Risk Information System (VFRIS), an online tool for Virginians to view and assess their flood risk and to help communities plan for resiliency.
Governor McAuliffe Announces $700,000 in Remediation Grants to Support Restoration of Brownfield Sites
The VBAF was established to provide either grants or loans to local governments to promote the restoration and redevelopment of brownfield sites and to address environmental problems or obstacles to reuse in an effort to effectively market for new
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