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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 7, 2019
CONTACT: Nathalie Morison, NHDES Coastal Program – (603) 559-0029; nathalie.morison@des.nh.gov

NHDES Coastal Program and Partners Receive $250K NOAA Grant to Update Best Available Science, Build Social Capital and Evaluate New Tax Incentives for a Resilient Coastal NH

PORTSMOUTH, NH - For the 7th consecutive year, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Coastal Program (NHCP) and partners are excited to announce the receipt of a $250,000 competitive Project of Special Merit Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management. The multifaceted project, entitled "Using Science, Building Social Capital, and Unpacking Tax Incentives for a Resilient Coastal New Hampshire," or SUSTAIN project for short, seeks to:

  1. Update best available science relevant to coastal flood risks in NH and enable its application in land use planning and decision-making;
  2. Build social capital in vulnerable coastal communities through creative outreach and engagement; and
  3. Enhance community awareness of recent legislation which extends the Community Revitalization Tax Relief Program (RSA 79-E) to coastal properties subject to coastal flooding.

As part of this effort, NHCP will lead a multi-stakeholder effort to update the New Hampshire Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission 2014 Science and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) report, entitled to "Sea-Level Rise, Storm Surges, and Extreme Precipitation in Coastal New Hampshire: Analysis of Past and Projected Trends," as required by law (RSA 483-B:22). The resulting 2019 Coastal Flood Risk (CFR) Science Summary will synthesize best-available science relevant to coastal flood risks in New Hampshire, including but not limited to updated sea-level rise, storm surge, and extreme precipitation projections, as well as anticipated changes in coastal groundwater levels due to sea-level rise. In addition to the CFR Science Summary, spatial datasets, including updated sea-level rise and storm surge maps as well as new groundwater rise maps will be made publicly available on the Coastal Viewer.

Following publication of the externally reviewed 2019 CFR Science Summary, NHCP will work with partners to develop companion CFR Guidance, which will provide step-by-step instructions for selecting and applying updated projections of coastal flood risks in land-use planning and decision-making. Opportunities for public input will be announced in late summer 2019. The CFR Science Summary and Guidance will be published to a new website, facilitating public access to these important publications.

Funded Project Partners: NHDES Coastal Program, University of New Hampshire (UNH), UNH Cooperative Extension, Rockingham Planning Commission, Strafford Regional Planning Commission, Studio NaCl.

Anticipated Project Completion: March 31, 2020.

For more information about the SUSTAIN Project and 2019 CFR Science Summary & Guidance update, please contact Nathalie Morison, Coastal Resilience Specialist at (603) 559-0029 or nathalie.morison@des.nh.gov.

To learn more about the New Hampshire Coastal Risk and Hazard Commission and to view the 2014 Science and Technical Advisory Panel report, please visit: www.nhcrhc.org.




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