Coastal Barrier Resources System Map Modernization
Supporting Coastal Resiliency and Sustainability following Hurricane
The Secretary of the Interior announced on October 24, 2013, $162
million in federal funding for 45 projects to protect Atlantic Coast
communities from future storms. This included a $5 million project to
modernize the maps of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System
(CBRS) for eight states most affected by Hurricane Sandy: Connecticut,
Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and
Virginia. This project will help increase the resiliency and capacity of
coastal habitats and infrastructure to withstand future storms and reduce
the amount of damage caused by such storms. The CBRS was established in
1982 with the passage of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA), which
designated relatively undeveloped coastal barriers along the Atlantic,
Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico coasts
as part of the CBRS, and made these areas ineligible for most new federal
expenditures that encourage development, including federal flood
The 3.2 million acres that comprise the CBRS are depicted on a set of maps
that are maintained by the Department of the Interior, through the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service. Most of the existing CBRS maps were created
more than 20 years ago and are outdated technologically, difficult to use,
and in some cases contain errors that adversely affect property owners.
The funding for this project will enable the Service to modernize the maps
for about 370 CBRS units within the Hurricane Sandy affected states. This
project will make significant progress towards fulfilling a Congressional
mandate to modernize the entire set of CBRS maps.
Comprehensively revising the CBRS maps will help enhance coastal
resiliency and sustainability following Hurricane Sandy by improving
federal agency compliance with CBRA and by adding other vulnerable coastal
areas that qualify as undeveloped coastal barriers to the CBRS. This
effort will also correct mapping errors that negatively affect property
owners and provide more accurate and accessible CBRS data for planning
coastal infrastructure projects, habitat conservation efforts and flood
risk mitigation measures.
The Service plans to prepare comprehensively revised draft maps for the
eight states by 2017. However, the Service’s recommended changes to the
CBRS (including proposed removals and proposed additions) will only become
effective once the revised maps are enacted into law by Congress.
To learn more about the 45 restoration and research projects to protect
Atlantic Coast communities from future storms, view the Department’s press