Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation today joined with Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) to announce $193,090 in federal funding to make the state’s coastline more resilient to future storms and rising sea levels.
The funds were made available through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Coastal Zone Management Program, and will go to support CRMC’s Rhode Island Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP).
The Beach SAMP is an ongoing project aimed at identifying areas at high risk to coastal erosion, storm surge, and sea level rise along Rhode Island’s coast. It will also seek to analyze the economic costs associated with shoreline changes and identify specific infrastructure and facilities that may be at risk for future flooding.
Data collected through the Beach SAMP will be used to develop practical policies that Rhode Island communities can use to increase coastal resilience and minimize future damage from coastal hazards. This includes nature-based resiliency projects like restoring wetlands, coastal dunes, and beaches which also protect coastal homeowners and businesses.
“Along with the $870,000 in federal funding the state received last month for URI’s coastal resiliency project, these federal funds will help further develop the Beach SAMP and make Rhode Island a national leader in coastal modelling and management,” said Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds NOAA.
“One of Rhode Island’s greatest assets is our magnificent coastline, and this grant will allow the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council to identify areas at risk of coastal erosion, storm surge and sea level rise,” Governor Chafee said. “I am glad that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has stepped up with this grant that addresses issues facing our coastal management.”
In addition to this funding from NOAA, CRMC has also received funding from BOEM, DOI, FWS, NRCS, HUD, and the State of RI to fund the Beach SAMP and other coastal resiliency efforts. These funds will help state leaders and resource agencies better manage the coastal areas to protect property, lives, and natural habitat into the future.
Press Release, July 17, 2014