Virginia applies for coastal resilience grants from NOAA

An image of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront from Chopper 10 in 2014. (WAVY Photo)

VIRGINIA (WAVY) — The Commonwealth has submitted four applications to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coastal Resilience Grants Program.

These grants encourage coastal communities to prepare for, respond to, recover from and adapt to extreme weather events and climate-related hazards. The program also supports community resilience in areas that have been impacted by rising sea levels, depleted fisheries and water quality issues.

NOAA will award about $15 million nationwide. Individual grants will range from $100,000 to $2 million for projects lasting up to three years. These projects will help prepare coastal communities for future storms and weather events, including long-term climate change.

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Virginia has received these types of grants before.

In 2016, the City of Virginia Beach was awarded $844,847 to come up with and implement strategies to address rising sea-level impacts on land use and development. That year, NOAA was only able to fund 10 percent of the proposed projects.

This year, Virginia has submitted several resilience initiatives to help the coastal region plan for and diminish the effects of rising sea levels and flooding. Governor McAuliffe signed a letter of support for each grant application.

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“I know the projects submitted to this grant will markedly enhance resilience and improve vulnerabilities, not just along Virginia’s coastal region, but throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Our coastal communities are key to the economic vitality of Virginia as a whole. We cannot afford to neglect our duty to prepare for these types of impacts.”

The secretary’s office, along with the Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, helped in coordinating the grant applications, working with local and academic partners to ensure each proposal will benefit the region as a whole.

NOAA aims to award the winners by Oct. 1.