Sheldon Whitehouse

04/10/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/11/2019 01:37

Whitehouse Encourages RI Municipalities, Organizations to Apply for New Round of Coastal Resilience Funding

04.10.19

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today encouraged local governments and organizations in Rhode Island to submit pre-proposals for a new $29-million round of funding from the National Coastal Resilience Fund, a significant source of federal investment to support innovative proposals for boosting coastal communities' natural protections from storms and ability to recover. Full proposals will be accepted by invitation in July. Whitehouse wrote the legislation creating the fund, which is authorized as the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund.

'The consequences of climate change are already coming ashore in Rhode Island,' said Whitehouse. 'The good news is Rhode Island's Coastal Resources Management Council is at work using resources from the Fund to plan for sea level rise. I invite our universities, nonprofits, and governments to take advantage of this opportunity to prepare coastal communities for floods, storms, and rising seas.'

Nonprofit and for-profit organizations, universities, tribes, and local and state governments are eligible to apply for funding, which is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Fund provided $28.9 million in its inaugural round in 2018 for the restoration or expansion of natural features such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs, mangroves, coastal forests, coastal rivers, and barrier islands. The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) received a $280,140 grant from the inaugural round of funding of the National Coastal Resilience Fund last fall. CRMC is using the funding to identify sites along Rhode Island's coastline vulnerable to sea level rise and to design projects to prevent them.

The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council projects the Rhode Island coastline will see between 9 and 12 feet of sea level rise by the end of the century. The 2017 U.S. Atlantic hurricane season was the most expensive ever, causing more than $200 billion in damages and widespread harm to coastal communities and ecosystems.

The full Request for Proposals can be found here. Pre-proposals are due May 20. Applicants should register for an April 11 webinar to learn more about the submission process.

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