Block Island Secures Federal Grant To Help Strengthen Coastline - The Fisherman

Block Island Secures Federal Grant To Help Strengthen Coastline

The town of New Shoreham, RI recently received $187,000 in federal funding from the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF), which was developed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., to restore and strengthen natural infrastructure protecting coastal communities.

New Shoreham will use the funding to bolster the dune, beach, salt marsh, coastal pond, and near-shore marine ecosystems around Block Island and better protect critical infrastructure, including Corn Neck Road, from climate-related threats.

Block Island’s shoreline has for years faced threats from erosion and increased storm and tide damage. The town will also use the money to identify nature-based solutions to protect critical infrastructure and habitat in the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge.

“Block Island is an Ocean State gem, and it’s facing some unique challenges from climate change,” Whitehouse said in a press release announcing the funding. “I’m very glad to announce this funding to harden Block Island’s critical infrastructure and strengthen the Island’s natural coastal defenses against rising seas and worsening storms.”

This round of funding, for 27 awards totaling $44.7 million, was made possible with funding from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which invested $2.6 billion in climate resilience and coastal communities through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Another round of NCRF funding is expected to be awarded later this year. The National Coastal Resilience Fund is jointly administered by NOAA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Past local recipients of the grant fund include the University of Rhode Island and Friends of Green Hill Pond, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Save The Bay, and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council.

In Rhode Island, NCRF funding has been used to identify sites vulnerable to sea-level rise that would benefit from shoreline adaptation, design projects to prevent flooding, and restore dunes and habitats that act as natural buffers for coastal areas.