NOAA and Sea Grant Fund a New Coastal Storm Awareness Program
Coastal Processes & Hazards - Press Release

Press Release Contact:

Barbara A. Branca, New York Sea Grant, Communications Manager, E:, P: 631-632-6956

Paul C. Focazio, New York Sea Grant, Web Content Manager, E:, P: 631-632-6910

Margaret (Peg) Van Patten, Communications Director, Connecticut Sea Grant, E:, P: 860-405-9141

New York, NY, October 10, 2013 - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program is pleased to announce the award of $1.8M in grants to Sea Grant programs in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. These monies will enhance the Nation’s ability to respond to disasters by closely examining how people heeded 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.

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 the trusted conveyors of 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.

New Jersey Sea Grant, New York Sea Grant and Connecticut Sea Grant will send out a call for a national research competition sponsored by the three programs, paired with coordinated outreach to emergency managers, weather forecasters, and the public.

NYSG Sandy-related efforts
Since Hurricane Sandy, New York Sea Grant (NYSG) has played a significant role in rapidly responding to the needs of coastal municipalities and stakeholders as they recover from the storm’s destruction. NYSG assisted federal, state and local officials in assessing the breach in Fire Island, a barrier island fronting a portion of mainland Long Island containing 13,000 homes collectively valued at 10 billion dollars and has funded researchers to track the evolution of the breach and its possible impacts.

Another NYSG research team is looking at ecosystem response to enhanced nutrient loadings in those Long Island South Shore estuaries impacted by the failure of the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, a facility that serves 40 percent of Nassau County’s 1.35 million residents. NYSG has worked closely with Long Island marina owners to quantify damage and lost revenues caused by the storm's devastation and with fishing industry trade representatives to facilitate data collection from impacted bait and tackle and charter boat businesses. This need arose from the Department of Commerce’s November 2012 fishery resource disaster declaration in NY/ NJ coastal communities, and the data are helping to develop a recovery plan partially funded under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013.

NJSG Sandy-related efforts
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.

CTSG Sandy-related efforts

Damages from Storm Sandy were estimated to be at least $360 million in Connecticut.  So far the state has received $72 million in Storm sandy funds to help homeowners and businesses recover.  About 625,000 Connecticut homes and businesses were affected by the storm, which caused 3 deaths. Record storm surges were reported for the western Connecticut shoreline. Efforts to date have included working with coastal communities and businesses to facilitate post-storm recovery and assess rebuilding options. Helping communities adapt to climate change, including severe storms, erosion and sea level rise has been a priority. CTSG is currently coordinating with other University of Connecticut academic departments and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to create a Center that will leverage academic expertise in research and outreach to address the most pressing and specific needs of coastal communities in the state.

More info on this CSAP effort:

Risk assessment and communication 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 develop survey tools that can be used to better understand public response to coastal storms. 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."

Interested scientists should apply to the following Request for Proposals. A required Letter of Intent for each applicant is due 4:30 pm EDT Monday, October 28, 2013, Full Proposals are due: 4:30 pm EST Friday, November 22, 2013.

For more information, potential applicants in the New Jersey area can contact: Peter M. Rowe, Associate Director for Sea Grant Administration / Director of Research and Extension, at 732-872-1300 x 31 or email him at

In New York: William Wise, Interim Director at 631-632-6905 or email him at

In Connecticut: Sylvain De Guise, Director, Connecticut Sea Grant College Program, at 860-405-9138 or email him at

Call for Research Proposals (pdf)
New Jersey Sea Grant, New York Sea Grant and Connecticut Sea Grant

  • Required Letter of Intent Due: 4:30 pm EDT Monday, October 28, 2013
  • Full Proposals Due: 4:30 pm EST Friday, November 22, 2013
  • Available funds: nearly $1.5 million to support at about 10 projects over an 16-month time span January 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015

More Info on New York Sea Grant:

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via for NY Coastlines, its flagship publication, and Currents, its e-newsletter supplement, each distributed several times a year.

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