Introducing the Northern Neck RAFT

What is The RAFT?

The Resilience Adaptation Feasibility Tool, or RAFT, is a full-service tool, collaborative, community-driven process designed to assist coastal localities in increasing their resilience.

The RAFT was conceived and developed by an academic interdisciplinary collaborative developed by the Institute for Engagement & Negotiation (IEN) at the University of Virginia, the Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) at William & Mary Law School, and the Old Dominion University (ODU)/Virginia Sea Grant Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program.

The RAFT has three key components:

  1. The RAFT Scorecard provides a comprehensive assessment of a locality’s resilience.
  2. A Resilience Action Workshop where participants review the assessment findings, identify achievable action items, and create a one-year Resilience Action Checklist.
  3. Implementation to achieve items identified on the Resilience Action Checklist.

How is the Northern Neck involved in The RAFT?

The Northern Neck Planning District Commission (NNPDC), with the assistance of the academic interdisciplinary collaborative, has been conducting outreach to Northern Neck localities to complete comprehensive assessments for each, using The RAFT Scorecard. Currently, locality assessments are being finalized and the initial findings presented to each locality’s governing body.

The NNPDC is also planning the Northern Neck Resilience Action Workshop, which is scheduled for Thursday, April 30, 2020. At this Workshop, the Core Team will present the findings from the RAFT Scorecard assessments. Participants will develop a Resilience Action Checklist for their locality.

The Checklist is a list of items that could improve the locality’s resilience. Ideally, the items on the Checklist could be completed within one year. The collaborative will provide one year of implementation assistance to each locality’s implementation team. The teams will include a cross section of local stakeholders, such as local administrations, elected officials, residents, community volunteers, environmental organizations, business owners, and anyone interested in improving resilience in the community.

How can The RAFT help a locality?

The RAFT can assist with starting or expanding a community’s conversation about resilience, including the identification of information gaps and needs. The RAFT can provide support to the community in identifying priority actions that will have the largest impact of increasing resilience. The RAFT can help the community improve communication and coordination with regional entities and state agencies. The RAFT can help the community become better positioned to find and apply for relevant funding opportunities.

Individuals who would like to participate in the RAFT should contact John Bateman at the Northern Neck Planning District Commission.

More information about the RAFT can be found at