Grant awarded to help Gulf communities improve resilience

By: Melissa Schneider / Published: Feb 08,  2016

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded a new grant that will allow 10 coastal communities in the Gulf of Mexico to complete proactive projects to enhance their resilience. The communities will work with members of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance on pilot projects that will help them plan for hazards. The communities also will help develop and promote best practices for future mitigation efforts.

This grant will support risk-communication improvement, updates of tools that communities identify as vital to decision making, and development of a coastal resilience roadmap document that will guide communities in preparing for hazards.

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is a partnership of the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Its goal is to significantly increase regional collaboration to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. The Alliance’s Habitat Resources and Coastal Resilience teams received the NOAA Coastal Resilience Grant.

Project leaders on this grant include the following:

  • Tracie Sempier, climate outreach coordinator for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and regional program manager with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance
  • LaDon Swann, director of Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
  • James Pahl, chair of the Alliance’s Habitat Team and senior coastal resources scientist for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
  • Rhonda Price, chair of the Alliance’s Resilience Team and program manager with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources

“This project is truly a team effort,” Swann said. “We are combining expertise and resources from our individual organizations while also reaching out to local municipalities with their expert knowledge to solve problems. Working collaboratively, we plan to make significant strides to increase resilience.”

Under this grant, 10 Gulf of Mexico coastal communities will be able to enter a competitive process to work with the Alliance on a project worth up to $45,000. As the selected communities take new steps to become risk resilient, they will become part of a Resilience Community of Practice. In this collective learning group, they will share their experiences with their peers and establish protocols from which others may learn.

This NOAA grant awards $867,700 in funding. With matching funds, the project is expected to total $1,250,700.

The grant was one of six grants totaling $4.5 million that NOAA awarded. NOAA received 132 proposals, creating a highly competitive selection process. The projects selected for funding improve coastal risk assessment and communication, promote collaborative resilience planning and better inform science-based decisions.

More information about NOAA’s Regional Coastal Resilience Grant program can be found online.

Coastal communities can anticipate a competition to open this fall through the Alliance website.



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