Hurricane Sandy Recovery
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Coastal Barrier Resources System Comprehensive Map Modernization

Supporting Coastal Resiliency and Sustainability

Location: CT, DE, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, RI, VA

Project type: Resilience

Funding awarded: $5,000,000

Project Summary

This project is for the comprehensive modernization of the official maps of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System along the North Atlantic coast. Modernized CBRS maps can serve as mitigation tools that help communities plan for long-term resiliency by steering development away from vulnerable coastal natural resources that are susceptible to the effects of climate change such as sea-level rise and more frequent and intense coastal storms.

Conservation Goals

  • Increase the resilience and capacity of coastal habitat and infrastructure to withstand storms and reduce the amount of damage caused by such storms by adding new qualifying lands to the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS)
  • Aid in the conservation of important habitat for fish and wildlife species

Project Benefits

  • Removes taxpayer subsidies for flood insurance, coastal infrastructure, and disaster assistance within the designated areas
  • Enhances the capacity of coastal barriers and wetlands to protect mainland communities from coastal storms
  • Increases public safety by reducing the intensity of development within these areas

Project Partners

  • Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE)
  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • State natural resource agencies and local planning and land use departments

Additional Details

The 3.1 million acres that comprise the CBRS are depicted on a set of maps that are maintained by the FWS. Most of the existing CBRS maps were created more than 20 years ago and are outdated technologically, difficult to interpret, and in some cases contain errors that adversely affect property owners and project proponents. In the most extreme cases, homeowners have learned after a storm that their property is located within the CBRS and that their home was issued a Federal flood insurance policy in error. In such cases, homeowner's premiums are refunded and the insurance claim is not paid. This project will update CBRS maps and add included land to vulnerable areas, covering approximately 44 percent of the total CBRS area.

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Last updated: October 28, 2014