Disaster Assistance Within the Coastal Barrier Resources System

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) limitations and exceptions also apply for new expenditures or financial assistance made available under authority of the Stafford Act. There is an exception under Section 6 of CBRA (16 U.S.C. § 3505(a)(6)(E)) for emergency actions essential to the saving of lives and the protection of property and the public health and safety if those actions are consistent with the three purposes of CBRA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) regulations implementing CBRA as that statute applies to disaster relief can be found at 44 CFR 206.340 through 206.349.

Emergency Disaster Assistance

Federal assistance for most emergency actions in a federally-declared disaster area which are essential to the saving of lives and the protection of property and the public health and safety, are allowed within the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS), if those actions are consistent with the purposes of CBRA (16 U.S.C. § 3505(a)(6)(E)). The actions are limited to those that are necessary to alleviate the emergency such as removal of debris from public property; emergency restoration of essential community services such as electricity, water or sewer; provision of emergency shelter; relocation of individuals out of danger; etc. Since these activities must be accomplished immediately, FEMA has conducted advance consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for the emergency work, and only an after-the-fact notification is provided. The Service still has the responsibility for providing an opinion after these activities have been accomplished.

Permanent Restoration Assistance

Most federal funding for permanent restoration assistance is prohibited within the CBRS unless the project or action meets one of the exceptions in Section 6 of CBRA (16 U.S.C. § 3505). Federal funding may not be used within System Units to replace private roads, dredge new navigation channels; provide structural beach or shoreline stabilization; expand publicly-owned or -operated roads, structures, or facilities (e.g., sewer lines or wastewater treatment plants); or for other projects or actions that promote or provide for expanded development or services within the CBRS. FEMA's regulations (44 C.F.R. 206.348) require consultation with the Service at the regional level before approving any action involving permanent restoration of a facility or structure structure
Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

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on or attached to a System Unit. The Service has 12 working days to respond to FEMA's consultation requests for permanent restoration assistance.

Related Resources & Information

Aerial view of an undeveloped coastal freshwater pond.
We administer the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA), which encourages the conservation of storm-prone and dynamic coastal barriers by withdrawing the availability of federal funding and financial assistance within a designated set of units known as the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS)....
Aerieal view of saltwater (intertidal) wetlands.
This library collection includes resources and information related to Coastal Barrier Resources Act project consultations, as well as guidance for shoreline stabilization, disaster assistance, and property buyouts.
Coastal Barrier Resources Act Storm Recovery and Disaster Assistance Fact Sheet

This document provides information for federal agencies regarding Coastal Barrier Resources Act compliance for federal expenditures related to storm recovery and disaster assistance within the Coastal Barrier Resources System.