ORAL HISTORY: PRESERVING PUBLIC ACCESS IN VIRGINIA
Lewis L. Lawrence, Executive Director, Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, was interviewed to document the Commission’s experience in establishing the country’s first Public Access Authority. The Public Access Authority was established to identify, acquire and manage water access opportunities in the Middle Peninsula of Virginia. Mr. Lawrence discusses the history of public access in Virginia, the increasing conflicts among users, and the changing cultural that has accompanied new residents over recent years. He describes the establishment of the Public Access Authority and how their role has evolved from researching ownership of public roads to acquiring and managing over 1000 acres of coastal properties for public access.