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Virginia Coastal Resilience Grants

Published: July 2, 2014

In June, officials from the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced $102.7 million in competitive matching grants to support 54 projects along the Atlantic coast.

The grants will fund science-based solutions to restore wetlands and other natural areas, better manage stormwater using green infrastructure and assist states, tribes and local communities in protecting themselves from major storms such as Hurricane Sandy, which devastated much of the East Coast in 2012.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which is administering the grant program, helped guide the process that led to Interior's selection of the 54 projects out of 375 proposals submitted.

DOI's commitment of $100 million was matched with $2.7 million in funding from the U.S. Attorney General's offices in New Jersey and Deleware, as well as donations from Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The $102.7 million grant commitment was further leveraged by $72 million in grantee partner match, making the entire conservation impact of the grant program more than $175 million.

The competitive grants are part of the $787 million the Department of the Interior received in supplemental appropriations for recovery and resiliency in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

This includes $176 million in internal funds allocated to resiliency projects including projects to restore coastal marshes, wetlands, and shoreline, create habitat connectivity, improve flood resilience and undertake other efforts to protect nearby areas from future storms.

Coastal Resilience Grants (Hampton Roads Virginia)

Improving and Quantifying Wetlands Potential to Reduce Storm Surge Impacts

George Mason University Grant Award: $440,000 Matching Funds: $111,969 Total Project Funds: $551,969
Project Description: Improve and quantify wetlands' potential to reduce storm surge impacts along the Chesapeake Bay shoreline within four Virginia nature preserves. Project will provide decision makers with information that can influence future management policies.

Developing a Green Infrastructure Plan and Network for the Lafayette River Watershed
City of Norfolk, Virginia Grant Award: $4,640,000 Matching Funds: $257,343 Total Project Funds: $4,897,343
Project Description: Implement eight shoreline restoration projects and develop a green infrastructure plan and framework for the Lafayette River watershed in Norfolk, Virginia. Project will strengthen the watershed's resiliency, engage 40 veterans in a green infrastructure training course, and involve 160 high school students in hands-on projects.

Developing Coastal Resiliency Regional Models
Back Bay Restoration Foundation Grant Award: $4,000,000 Matching Funds: $4,465,843 Total Project Funds: $8,465,843
Project Description: Develop coastal resiliency regional models that enhance over 5,700 acres of wetlands and forests in the Southern Watersheds Area of Virginia. Project will strengthen coastal resiliency and serve as an adaptation resource for community leaders and decision makers.

A list of the projects announced under the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program can be found at:

http://www.doi.gov/news/upload/Hurricane-Sandy-2014-Grants-List.pdf

source: U.S. Department of the Interior