The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the release of the 2022 Request for Proposals for the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF), which provides grant funding to restore, increase, and strengthen our nation’s “natural infrastructure,” including coastal wetlands, reefs, and barrier islands that provide a critical first line of defense for coastal communities and important habitat for fish and wildlife.
This year, with additional funding provided through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, NFWF expects to invest approximately $140 million in grants to support nature-based solutions that will increase protection for communities from coastal storms, sea- and lake-level changes, inundation, and coastal erosion, while also improving valuable coastal ecosystems. NFWF prioritizes projects that are community led or incorporate direct community engagement and benefit underserved communities facing disproportionate harm from climate impacts.
This funding comes as coastal communities and ecosystems continue to face threats from rising sea-levels, more intense storms, and changing rainfall patterns. A 2022 study published by NOAA and other federal agencies estimates that over the next 30 years sea levels will rise an average of 10-12 inches and, by 2050, damaging flooding in many coastal communities is expected to occur ten times more frequently than it does today.
Coastal communities are already experiencing increasing flooding and erosion, affecting people, property, and infrastructure. In 2021, the U.S. experienced 20 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events causing a total of $145 billion in disaster costs, the third-highest year on record. At the same time, the U.S. is losing valuable coastal ecosystems that help to buffer communities from these impacts and provide important habitats for fish and wildlife.
The NCRF is a public-private partnership between NFWF, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Defense, Occidental, Shell USA, Inc. and TransRe, with additional support this year from the Bezos Earth Fund. From 2018 to 2021, NCRF awarded more than $136 million to 173 projects across the nation.
NCRF pre-proposals are due April 21, 2022. The full Request for Proposals can be found here: https://www.nfwf.org/programs/national-coastal-resilience-fund
To meet the unique coastal resilience needs of communities, NFWF funds activities in four project categories designed to help communities move projects through a “pipeline” from planning to implementation:
- Community Capacity Building and Planning
- Project Site Assessment and Preliminary Design
- Project Final Design and Permitting
- Project Restoration Implementation
Projects must be located within the coastal areas of U.S. coastal states, including the Great Lakes states, and U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Many of the projects will support ecosystem restoration efforts proven to reduce flood and erosion risk and dampen storm surge, while providing other ecosystem services like enhanced habitats for fish and wildlife, improved water quality, and sequestered carbon pollution.
The NCRF also funds innovative projects that reshape thinking on how to best protect communities in light of climate change and that deliver the greatest conservation and community resilience benefits, while addressing variation in regional need and approach. Projects must not only address current threats to coastal communities and ecosystems, but also ensure that the project will be sustainable and adapted to projected future conditions with climate change. NFWF also works to enhance and refine our approach by monitoring and evaluating the projects we fund, and sharing best practices for implementing nature-based solutions.
For additional information about the NCRF please visit: https://www.nfwf.org/coastalresilience.