Bishop Announces $2.4 Million in Federal Funds to Protect Shoreline, Improve Emergency Response
New York Sea Grant Program Working to Predict Impact of Storms on Long Island,
Help Local Decision-makers
INDEPENDENCE HILL, NY, February 05, 2007 - Congressman Tim Bishop announced $2.4 in new federal grants to the New York Sea Grant Program in a press conference at Brookhaven Town Hall. Bishop was joined by Brookhaven Town Supervisor Brian Foley and members of the Sea Grant Program for the announcement. Bishop highlighted projects in Sea Grant's Storm Surge program, which creates advanced computer models to predict storm surges and aid emergency planning in the event of a hurricane or nor'easter.
"It is vital for public officials and first responders to have good information to make smart planning choices, and if necessary, safely evacuate residents," Bishop said. "I am proud to support the New York Sea Grant program because they use world-class science to protect the safety of Long Islanders."
One of Bishop's partners in making emergency preparedness a priority is Foley. Bishop and Foley held a Town Hall meeting on emergency preparedness at the Patchogue Fire Department last August that drew more than 250 attendees.
"Long Island dodged a bullet this past hurricane season," Foley said. "But it's not a question of if we'll be hit, it's a question of when. I am glad Congressman Bishop secured funding for this important research so that we can be prepared and make smart choices when a hurricane hits."
Dr. Malcolm Bowman, the head of the Storm Surge program at Stony Brook University discussed his research. In addition to investigating the impact that current storms would have on Long Island, he noted that his group is actively engaged in modeling what the impact of global warming and higher sea levels will be on our area. Bowman's group is perfecting its modeling through 'hindcasting' where they match up their program with real events. Once that is complete, they are able to forecast using 60 hour windows on what the impact of a storm surge is likely to be.
New York Sea Grant Director Jack Mattice discussed the program's overall goal of providing science to decision-makers to help them make informed decisions. Sea Grant is currently celebrating its 35th anniversary, and is headquartered at Stony Brook.
"I'd like to thank Congressman Bishop for being a long-term supporter of Sea Grant," Mattice said.
Mattice also provided an overview of other programs Sea Grant is currently working on. One project that complements the Storm Surge program's work is investigating the effects of breakwaters in dispersing large waves.
Many of the other projects also have an important economic impact on Long Island's multi-billion boating, fishing and tourism industries. One project is investigating the impact of Quahog Parasite Unknown (QPX), a disease which is affecting clams. Another project will look into restoring the winter flounder population.
The funding was provided to Sea Grant through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Established in 1966, NOAA's National Sea Grant College Program has made "promoting the wise stewardship of coastal resources" its primary mission. Today 32 Sea Grant colleges and programs in hundreds of universities nationwide, as well as Korea and Indonesia, collaborate to respond to coastal issues of regional and national importance.
In New York, Sea Grant is currently celebrating its fourth decade of "Bringing Science to the Shore." New York Sea Grant (NYSG) is a statewide network of integrated research, education, and extension services promoting the wise use and protection of marine and Great Lakes resources.