coastal communities

Sea Grant, DOE, NOAA Fisheries partner to invest $1M+ to support research for the co-existence of ocean energy with Northeast fishing and coastal communities

The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office, and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, announces a research funding opportunity to improve understanding of offshore renewable energy interactions with fishing and coastal communities to optimize ocean co-use.

This unique funding partnership will support objective, community-focused research on ocean renewable energy—including offshore wind and hydrokinetic current, tidal, and wave energies—in the U.S. Northeast for the benefit of a diversity of communities and stakeholders.

With a focus on advancing community and economic resilience, the funding opportunity aims to catalyze proactive socio-economic and technology research for offshore renewable energy planning in the Northeast. Over $1 million will be available to support research projects across three innovative areas:

  • Fisheries and Fishing Community Resilience
  • Coastal Community and Economic Resilience
  • Co-Location Management of Ocean Renewable Energy with Other Marine Activities

The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium and federal partners seek collaborative, multidisciplinary, and innovative proposals with results that will be valuable to a variety of stakeholders, from the fishing industry to resource managers, as the U.S. ocean energy landscape evolves.

The funding competition is accepting pre-proposals from eligible Northeast researchers through May 14, 2021. Read more about the Request for Proposals here.

The initiative was announced as part of a Biden Administration fact sheet on wind energy, issued from the White House briefing room on March 29:

Graphic for Ocean Renewable Energies research initiativeThe Northeast Sea Grant Consortium consists of the Connecticut, Maine, MIT, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Woods Hole Sea Grant Programs. Sea Grant’s mission is to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment.

NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center works with the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office to ensure informed management decisions based on sound science, promoting sustainability of marine life, supporting fisheries and coastal communities, and generating economic opportunities and benefits from the use of these resources.

DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office are committed to developing and deploying innovative technologies for clean, domestic power generation from natural renewable resources such as wind, hydropower, waves, and tides. The mission is to enable energy science research, development, and testing of new technologies to advance innovative energy systems in the United States.

Original Post 

Emergency Preparedness for Families in Coastal Communities in Southeastern Connecticut

Karen-Mary Ellen
Karen Filchak and Mary Ellen Welch shared family and home emergency preparedness information at the Community Safety, Health and Wellness Day held for Stonington residents in May. Photo: Faye Griffiths-Smith

UConn Extension has received a two-year grant from USDA-NIFA to work with residents in four Southeastern Connecticut coastal communities promoting storm (coastal or heavy precipitation event) preparedness. The coastal communities of Connecticut and Rhode Island are impacted by flooding, storm surge, and wind causing property damage during major storm events such as nor’easters and hurricanes. The Universities of Connecticut and Rhode Island are collaborating to provide preparedness education and planning support for select communities including town officials, commissions and residents. The multistate team will target densely populated coastal towns and will conduct assessments of vulnerability, determine risks, and identify how the risks can be mitigated through preparatory actions. One of the primary goals is to educate citizens, towns, and businesses to make sound decisions in advance of storms.

Extension will engage a variety of community partners and citizens to participate in workshops to learn how to

Preparing emergency go-kits for family members and pets as well as organizing financial and household records were a few of the topics addressed by Karen Filchak and Faye Griffiths-Smith. Photo: Mary Ellen Welch

assess and protect vulnerable properties, including residential, common community, business and agricultural properties. Extension and Sea Grant Educators will offer workshops on community preparedness, family preparedness, assembling a family emergency kit and go pack, family financial emergency records preparation, and household preparation. Another goal is to introduce Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) materials to these populations to make them familiar with these online resources and those available through land grant universities and agencies such as NIFA/HUD, FEMA and Red Cross. We will identify and market existing on-line resources and apps to deal with property impacts before and after storms in the selected communities. Stonington has been identified as the 2016 pilot community for the project. 

For more information, contact Mary Ellen Welch, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator and Principal Investigator on the grant at