Newswise — Ocean Springs, MS. – The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance) is pleased to announce Coastal Resilience Awards for two community projects totaling $90,000. The community recipients are The City of Fairhope, Alabama and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana for a project benefitting Terrebonne and LaFourche Parishes. The awards are supported by funding from the NOAA Office for Coastal Management.

In January 2016, the Alliance’s Habitat Resources and Coastal Resilience Teams received a NOAA Coastal Resilience Grant to foster resilience planning and promote best practices for future mitigation actions. The 3-year award is supporting ten communities across the Gulf region as they identify resilience vulnerabilities and take steps to address them.

The Alliance created an opportunity for Gulf Coast communities to submit project ideas that address a resilience need or gap identified through a vulnerability assessment. Awardees include communities in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas. The first eight projects were announced earlier this year. 

The Alliance award is supporting the update of existing tools identified by communities as vital to the decision-making process. The project aims to improve risk communication and will develop a Coastal Resilience Roadmap for use throughout the Gulf region to prepare for future hazards.

As the selected communities take steps to enhance their resilience, they will become part of a Resilience Community of Practice. Here, they share their experiences with their peers and establish best practices from which others may learn. The final two awards are:

  • Fairhope, Alabama: The City of Fairhope plans to locate and place stormwater infrastructure information for the Tatumville Gully watershed into the city’s GIS system. They plan to generate hydrologic/hydraulic models necessary to evaluate and predict stormwater flows/levels, using current conditions as a baseline. With this information they can design appropriate mitigation measures.
  • Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes, Louisiana: The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana will work with Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes to develop and install an oyster bed surge protection system to preserve a culturally significant site sacred to a local Native American Tribe. The oyster bed installation will significantly curtail coastal erosion and stabilize the shoreline.