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February 11, 2016

Southeast States Win Coastal Resilience Grant

NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grant program awarded $803,713 to the Southeast states to strengthen disaster recovery of coastal communities.

The project will improve planning for long-term recovery from storms, hurricanes and other natural disasters for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) Executive Director Debra Hernandez is the project PI. “I’m excited about the opportunity to work with this talented team that will be working to strengthen our coastal communities’ recovery capabilities.” SECOORA will coordinate the regional collaboration effort and oversee project management.

“Natural disasters are not constrained by state, political, or geographic boundaries,” said Robert Haywood, Federal Recovery Coordinator for FEMA Region IV. “Through this award, numerous partners in the Southeast will be working towards a collaborative approach to long-term disaster recovery that allows coastal communities to create even more vibrant economies and healthier environments after a natural disaster.”

The proposal, titled Utilizing Regional Collaboration to Implement the National Disaster Recovery Framework in South Atlantic Coastal Communities,is supported through a NOAA grant of $803,713 and matching funds of $453,746 provided by states, local governments, private sector, and non-profit partners.

Debra Hernandez, SECOORA Executive Director, stated the individual projects implemented will:

  • Support disaster recovery planning on the ground in coastal communities in each state,
  • Encourage private sector engagement in recovery planning, and
  • Build capacity in the region to expand and improve recovery planning.

Partners included in the project are listed below.

State Partners Regional partners, led by the SECOORA Federal partners
  • Florida Department of Emergency Management
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  • South Carolina Emergency Management Division
  • North Carolina Emergency Management
  • S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Atlantic Business Continuity Services
  • Anderson Insurance Associates
  • The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and
  • NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management.


Dr. Jeffrey Payne, Acting Director of the NOAA Office for Coastal Management, said, “The challenges confronting our nation’s coastal communities are incredibly complicated – effective solutions are going to require strong science, ingenuity and collaboration if they are going to safeguard and ensure the future vitality of our economy and valuable natural resources.”

The NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grant program supports regional-scale projects that enhance the resilience of coastal communities and economies to effects of extreme weather, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions.  In 2015, NOAA received 132 proposals totaling $105 million in requested funding and announced $4.5 million in recommended funding for six coastal resilience projects, including the Southeast project.  Dr. Payne said, “We are excited about what these partnership projects will accomplish at the local level and the positive impact this program will have on our nation.”


For additional information:
Debra Hernandez
(843) 906.8686


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