Portsmouth, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Coastal Program announces that four new grant projects have officially kicked off, mobilizing over $317,000 to enhance New Hampshire’s coastal resilience to current and future flood hazards, including sea-level rise. Selected for funding as part of the NHDES Coastal Program 2018 Resilience Grant Funding Opportunity, the projects will reach several coastal communities to build local capacity and implement on-the-ground construction and restoration efforts.

“There is a lot of work to do to prepare coastal communities in New Hampshire for the effects of sea-level rise, and currently there aren’t enough resources available to meet the challenge,” said NHDES Coastal Program Resilience Coordinator Kirsten Howard. “We are very fortunate to have dedicated people and organizations working toward building resilience on our coast, as demonstrated by the 11 excellent proposals that competed for this funding. We are thrilled to be able to support the selected projects,” said Howard.

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Cooperative Extension and New Hampshire Sea Grant will continue dune restoration efforts in Hampton and Seabrook and implement a new coastal landowner technical assistance program to provide advice to individuals seeking to minimize current and future flooding and erosion on their properties. The Town of Newmarket will pair the coastal resilience funds with NHDES Aquatic Resource Mitigation funds and local match to replace a culvert on Bay Road at Lubberland Creek that will restore fish passage and reduce the risk of road flooding now and in the future as sea levels rise. UNH Cooperative Extension will use funds to scale up the Climate in the Classroom program that educates fifth- and sixth-grade students, their families, and municipal officials about climate change. The Great Bay Stewards and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will work with coastal stakeholders to develop a comprehensive approach to manage salt marshes. The NHDES Coastal Program provided $223,071 in funding for the coastal resilience projects, which was supplemented with $94,701 in matching resources by the funded organizations. Projects began in spring 2019 and will be completed in 2020.

Funds for this grant opportunity are provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office for Coastal Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act in conjunction with the NHDES Coastal Program. For more information about the New Hampshire Coastal Resilience Grant projects, please contact: Kirsten Howard of the NHDES Coastal Program at (603) 559-0020 or kirsten.howard@des.nh.gov. For more information about New Hampshire’s future coastal flood hazard projections, visit the New Hampshire Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission website at www.nhcrhc.org.