The Middle Peninsula Public Access Authority was created by the Virginia General Assembly on April 7, 2002 and ratified by participating localities on June 13, 2003. The Public Access Authority ( MP-PAA) recognizes that shorelines are high priority natural areas and that it is critical to set aside access sites for all types of recreational activities important to our economy and to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a regional leader in addressing public access issues, the MP-PAA understands the importance of public outreach and quality education as it relates to water access. It is our intentions to better inform the public on issue of public access concern.
Who are the members? The Counties of Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King William, Mathews and Middlesex and the Towns of Tappahannock, Urbanna, and West Point.
In 1998 and prior, the 9 jurisdictions of the Middle Peninsula were the subject of ongoing litigation focusing on the public’s right to access the water via road endings managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation. One case in particular worked through the Virginia court systems and eventually rose to the Virginia State Supreme Court- Frederick J. SHAHEEN, et al., v. COUNTY OF MATHEWS. Mathews county expended thousands and thousands of dollars to defend the public’s right for access to the water. Local governments recognized litigation was not the preferred path for managing public access. A regional solution to a cross-jurisdictional problem was needed.
Part of the service of the Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority is to answer and research public access problems in the Middle Peninsula. Do you have an access problem or question? If so, join us on Facebook and let us know what's on your mind.
Working Waterfront Master Plan
The Accessing the Virginia Coast site also serves as the backbone for a dynamic web-based Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Working Waterfront Master Plan. To see the master plan, click here.