Interior to give $102 million for East Coast resilience

The Interior Department said it will give $102.7 million to East Coast communities to build infrastructure, wetlands and other natural areas to protect from major storms like 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

The money will match funds from local and state governments for 54 projects along the Atlantic coast, Interior said Monday. Projects will stabilize beaches, restore wetlands and strengthen other barriers to mitigate the effects of major storms.

ADVERTISEMENT
“We are taking the lessons learned from this natural disaster to help local communities strengthen natural barriers between themselves and major storms such as Sandy that can cause major flooding and other damage,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement.

Interior first announced the resilience grant program in October, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is administering it. The agency received 375 applications for the program.

Interior funded $100 million of the program from the $787 million in supplemental appropriations it received after Hurricane Sandy. The U.S. Attorney’s offices in New Jersey and Delaware, Bank of America and Wells Fargo contributed the remaining $2.7 million.

The projects will restore about 6,634 acres of wetlands and marshes, 225 acres of beach, 364 acres of riparian barriers and 16 miles of streams, Interior said.