NOAA/Sea Grant To Award $1.8 Million For Coastal Storm Awareness Program

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Damage to homes along the beach in Mantoloking, New Jersey, left by Hurricane Sandy five months after the storm. Taken from a miniature Quadcopter along the coast of Mantoloking, New Jersey. Photo by Wendell A. Davis Jr./FEMA - Location: Mantoloking, NJ

Damage to homes along the beach in Mantoloking, New Jersey, left by Hurricane Sandy five months after the storm. Taken from a miniature Quadcopter along the coast of Mantoloking. (Photo by Wendell A. Davis Jr./FEMA)

SANDY HOOK — NOAA Sea Grant will award of $1.8 million in grants to New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut to enhance the nation’s ability to respond to disasters by closely examining how people responded to the warnings associated with storms like Sandy, what influenced the choices they made, and how they can be reached more effectively in the future.

Sandy caused 140 deaths and over $62 billion in economic losses, despite the warning, support and information from emergency managers, community leaders and the media. Many of these deaths were the result of human choices and actions. Sandy was the second most costly storm event in U.S. history.

Damages and economic losses from Storm Sandy were estimated to be nearly $37 billion in New Jersey. So far the state has received $1.8 billion in Storm Sandy funds to help homeowners and businesses recover. The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) has been working with stakeholders for the past year to facilitate post-storm recovery and rebuilding. Current efforts include projects that address community climate adaptation and supporting work to increase awareness and implementation of the best possible ways to nourish beaches and dunes.

The new NOAA Sea Grant project provides research funding to carry out an integrated research and outreach Coastal Storms Awareness Program. Close linkage of cutting edge risk communication science with targeted outreach to those who convey critical hazard information, will enhance the effectiveness of risk messaging, and help people choose their actions with a clear knowledge of the risks and consequences of their choice.

This sort of research was a critical recommendation of the 2013 NOAA Sandy Service Assessment. Peyton Robertson, Chair of the Assessment team, said “NOAA Sea Grant is providing critically needed funding to address several important recommendations from the Sandy Service Assessment, including the development of survey tools that can be used to better understand public response to coastal storms and the need to broaden and expand NOAA’s social science capacity to better implement risk communications This work should lead to an improved response from coastal residents in the face of impending storms as they will better understand the true implications of the threats posed by events like Sandy.”

New Jersey Sea Grant, New York Sea Grant, and Connecticut Sea Grant will coordinate a call for a national research competition sponsored by the three programs, paired with coordinated outreach to emergency managers, weather forecasters, and the public.
Visit njseagrant.org and click on “Research” for more information about the grants or contact Dr. Peter M. Rowe Associate Director for Sea Grant Administration and Director of Research & Extension at 732-872-1300 ext. 31 or email prowe@njseagrant.org. Letters of Intent are due Oct. 28 and applications are due Nov. 22.


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