Improved regional preparation, response to coastal hazards top goal
NOAA’s National Ocean Service will award today $4.5 million in coastal resilience grants, with plans to award another $4.5 million in grants later this year. The local community grant recipients are required to add an additional $2.4 million in matching funds.
The projects selected are designed to help coastal communities improve their resilience to adverse events by improving their ability to prepare for and respond to a variety of coastal threats, including extreme weather events, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions.
“We know that continued sea level rise and the storm surges associated with potential changes in hurricanes combined with increased coastal storm activity threaten to cause $35 billion annually in damages within the next 15 years,” said Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We need to reduce these impacts through better application of science-based knowledge. The six projects receiving funds today are designed to serve as models of the way forward to increasing the resilience of our coastal communities.”
The selected projects reflect the program’s regional focus — more than 100 communities are participating in these six projects. In response to its call for proposals last year, NOAA received 132 applications requesting more than $100 million. The proposals were reviewed by a panel of coastal management experts from around the United States that included representatives of government, academia and private industry.
NOAA is taking a multifaceted approach to building coastal resilience through two grant programs. NOAA National Ocean Service’s grant program, the Regional Coastal Resilience Grants, focuses on regional-scale projects that enhance the resilience of coastal communities and economies. Activities may include improving coastal risk assessment and communication, promoting collaborative approaches to resilience planning, and better informing science based decision making.
“We are all connected by the watershed we live in,” said Jeff Payne, Ph.D., acting director ofNOAA’s Office for Coastal Management. “What happens in one community affects those downstream. It can be wide spread on regional and local infrastructure, economies and ecosystems. A piecemeal approach will not be effective. Only by working together can we solve these complex problems.”
NOAA Fisheries’ Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants program, a complementary resilience grant program, announced its FY 2015 grant awards December 1. The NOAA Fisheriesprogram is focused on the development of healthy and sustainable coastal ecosystems through habitat restoration.
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