NJSGC receives federal funding for research in strengthening resilient coastal communities

January 25th, 2023

The National Sea Grant College Program today announced recent investments through two complementary initiatives aimed at improving resilience with coastal communities. Through a joint competition with the U.S. Coastal Research Program (USCRP), ten new projects were selected for a total of $3.9 million in funding to translate research into application for communities.

Project activities span California, Georgia, Hawai’i, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Texas, and activities will take place either over two years (Tier 1) or over four years (Tier 2). All projects have been recommended for funding and await final approval before award disbursement. These collaborative projects will build on Sea Grant’s continuing research and extension work in communities. The full list of USCRP-Sea Grant projects and descriptions is available here.

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium has been awarded $150,000 (Tier 1) of federal funding to enhance community resilience through knowledge co-production on sediment transport and bypassing around natural tidal inlets. The goal of this project is to gain a better understanding of how hydrodynamic processes influence morphologic evolution at natural inlets and adjacent shorelines. The project will use local community knowledge and commonly used oceanographic analytic methods at Little Egg Inlet and Brigantine Inlet, which are natural, unstructured inlets in New Jersey, to help analyze current and sediment flow and inform interested parties of the changes in different scenarios. To gain community participation and knowledge co-production, the project team will organize listening sessions that aim to include a variety of interested parties to learn about the publics’ perspectives on shore protection activities, and human use and ecological species use at natural inlets, affiliated shoals, and adjacent shorelines. The project team will report on the effectiveness of student hands-on learning together with the coastal communities’ local knowledge in understanding currents and sediment transport around natural inlets.

“Through this partnership with the U.S. Coastal Research Program, Sea Grant is able to effectively leverage its nationwide network to help coastal and Great Lakes communities tackle some of the most pressing issues that they face now and in the future,” said Jonathan Pennock, director of NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program. “The congressional appropriations dedicated to addressing resilience challenges through both of these complementary efforts will enhance engagement and adaptation planning and implementation for infrastructure, society, and human and ecosystem health.”

The projects selected through the USCRP-Sea Grant competition will increase the capacity of coastal communities across the U.S. to withstand and quickly recover from a diverse range of local challenges. This includes current and future flood risks posed by sea level rise and extreme storms. Projects will explore flooding impacts through the lenses of community socioeconomic factors, natural resource and infrastructure management, and shoreline adaptations. Additionally, projects will address coastal safety related to rip currents and drowning, and access to clean water.