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EA Coastal Resiliency via Integrated Salt Marsh Management, Suffolk County, New York

The U.S. Department of the Interior's (Department) Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program (Program) supports projects that reduce communities' vulnerability to the growing risks from coastal storms, sea level rise, flooding, erosion, and associated threats through strengthening natural ecosystems that also benefit fish and wildlife. The Program is funded by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 and is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

On June 16, 2014, the Department announced the award of 54 grants totaling $102.75 million. In addition, the grantees committed over $55 million in additional funding and in-kind contributions, for a total conservation investment of over $158 million. Grants were awarded to projects that assess, restore, enhance, or create wetlands, beaches, and other natural systems to help better protect communities and to mitigate the impacts of future storms and naturally occurring events on fish and wildlife species and habitats. Projects are located in the region affected by Hurricane Sandy: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia. Each of these states officially declared a natural disaster as a result of the 2012 Hurricane Sandy storm event.

The Department, as lead Federal agency, and its project partner, Suffolk County, are proposing the Coastal Resiliency via Integrated Salt Marsh Management Project, Federal Financial Assistance Grant Number 43006 (Project). The Project will restore approximately 200 acres of tidal salt marsh located on the south shore of Long Island in the Great South Bay. Restoration will utilize the ecosystem-based Integrated Marsh Management (IMM) Approach. The purpose of the project is to provide flood and storm surge risk reduction, wave energy reduction, and increased resiliency of coastal ecosystems and communities to rising sea levels and extreme storm events. One of the main goals of the Project is to develop and implement sustainable salt marsh rehabilitation methodologies under the conceptual umbrella of IMM. Such ongoing stewardship of the tidal wetlands would enhance resiliency of coastal ecosystems and communities to address rising sea levels and extreme storm events. The primary goal of the Project can be realized by extending the use of IMM techniques to Suffolk County marshes in a sustainable manner.
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