Projects will aid communities in coastal preparedness and recovery
Nineteen research projects that protect life and property, strengthen the economy, and conserve as well as restore coastal and marine resources were recommended to receive a total of $13.8 million in funding through the 2017 NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants program today.
The projects cover 17 states and Puerto Rico, and will restore 1,100 acres of habitat and prepare more than 350 coastal communities to withstand extreme weather and related hazards.
Every two dollars of federal funds must be matched by a non-federal contribution of at least one dollar by the project organizers, adding another $8.3 million and bringing the total to $22.1 million.
“From restoring estuaries that provide natural shoreline protection to reducing coastal flooding impacts, the projects supported by these grants assist in ensuring the safety and vibrancy of our nation’s coastal communities and economies,” said Russell Callender, Ph.D., assistant NOAA administrator for the National Ocean Service. “We are pleased to partner with local agencies and groups on the ground to have the greatest impact.”
NOAA received more than 167 proposals in 2017, requesting more than $135 million. The proposals were reviewed by a panel of coastal management experts and scientists from around the United States that included representatives of government, academia and private industry.
State and local government agencies and several non-governmental organizations will use these funds to improve their ability to prepare for and recover from a variety of coastal threats, including hurricanes, tsunamis and sea-level rise.
Specifically, the projects will reduce the costs of floods for communities; improve habitats that communities rely on for productive fisheries; build capacity of local officials to prepare for and recover from coastal storms and tsunamis; and remove obsolete, hazardous dams that threaten public safety.
The program brings together two existing grants programs within NOAA’s National Ocean Service and NOAA Fisheries that have provided funding for coastal resilience projects since 2015. Since then, NOAA has awarded $20 million to projects aiding communities as they recover from Hurricane Matthew, reducing the effects of coastal flooding on ports and military installations, implementing new approaches to deal with shoreline erosion, and removing dams to reduce local flooding, improve safety and restore fish passage.
For a full list of the 2017 projects and to learn more about the Coastal Resilience Grants Program, visit www.coast.noaa.gov/resilience-grant.
Keeley Belva, 301-643-6463