The Back Bay Restoration Foundation (BBRF), is a 33 year-old non-profit watershed organization,
founded in 1986 by a group of loca1 citizens concerned about deterioration of the Back Bay watershed
visible then through decreases in Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SA V), fish, and waterfowl. BBRF is
the only voice solely dedicated to conserving and improving Virginia Beach’s two Southern Watersheds;
namely, the Back Bay and North Landing River watersheds. Our efforts focus on education, stewardship
and outreach to conserve the largest watersheds in Virginia Beach. We team with other non-profits, and
city, state and federa] agencies to work toward best solutions for the future of the Back Bay and North
Landing River watersheds. BBRF strives to raise awareness, addressing issues that negatively affect
these watersheds such as sea leve1 rise, land subsidence and land use changes.
Back Bay is a historical, nationally significant, watershed. With the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
(NWR) and significant State conservation ]ands at its core, the watershed was recognized as an Aquatic
Resource ofNational Importance (ARNJ) in 2008 by,.both the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US
Anny Corps of Engineers. Back Bay is a wind-tidal oligohaline estuary and is located at the northern tip
of the Albemarle/Pamlico estuarine system, the second largest estuarine complex in the United States.
The Albemarle/Pamlico estuarine system was designated as an Estuary of National Significance in 1987
and selected to be studied as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program.
Back Bay is a shallow-water aquatic ecosystem with an average depth of four feet. Winds can influence
the water depth by as much as three feet.
BBRF strongly supports the joint application of the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia Department of Game
and Inland Fisheries and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Back Bay NWR) for NFWF’s 2019 National
Coastal Resilience Fund. BBRF has long been a supporter of natural infrastructure projects within the
watershed including the submitted proposal. Natura1 shoreline/marsh restorations will provide significant
resilience and mitigation for sea level rise and land subsidence. Similarly, SAY restoration will provide
the biotic building blocks to maintain the watershed’s national importance for wildlife.
Please feel free to contact us for further information.
Jared Brandwein
Executive Director
Back Bay Restoration Foundation