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Erosion threatens graves at riverside Norfolk cemetery

Riverside Memorial Park
Posted at 3:40 PM, May 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-21 17:22:28-04

NORFOLK, Va. — Dozens of graves at a city-owned cemetery in Norfolk are threatened by eroding shorelines on the Elizabeth River.

A city review of the 44-acre site at Riverside Memorial Park found the shoreline surrounding the cemetery has been damaged by decades of dredging, nearby marine industrial activity and wind-driven waves that have undercut the riverbanks.

At least 10 headstones are only feet away from steep slopes leading down to the river, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

The city is seeking $1.9 million from the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund to repair 1,500 feet of shoreline. But the money in that fund comes from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, from which Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin wants to withdraw.

A city official said it's unclear if that funding source would be available if Virginia withdraws from the regional initiative.

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