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NOAA's
 Role 
in
 Supporting 
Coastal
 Communites

 Before, During
 and
 After
 a Coastal Storm

NOAA's
 Role 
in
 Supporting 
Coastal
 Communites

 Before, During
 and
 After
 a Coastal Storm

A Case Study of Hurricane Sandy

Laura Wilson

Staff and stakeholders of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) held a congressional briefing on NOAA’s role in supporting coastal communities before, during, and after Sandy’s impact. The briefing took place on Wednesday November 20th, 2013, just weeks after the one year anniversary of the devastating coastal storm. Representatives from across the NOAA spectrum spoke discussing a wide range of issues including National Weather Service forecasting, National Marine Fisheries Service rapid fisheries stock assessment and the “boots on the ground” approach of New York Sea Grant. The talks highlighted best practices that helped communities and decision-makers during the difficult time leading up to and after Sandy, as well as the important lessons learned to prepare for future storms. The engaging presentations offered a succinct follow-up, summarizing NOAA’s overall response to Sandy.

Jay Tanski was there representing New York Sea Grant, offering a perspective on how to implement NOAA-wide initiatives at the local level. His presentation on the breach of Fire Island highlighted the permanence and relevance of the research that Sea Grant does every year. Back in 2001, New York Sea Grant-funded research modeled the possible effects of a breach on Fire Island.  Because of this work, and their ongoing coordination with local stakeholders, Sea Grant was in a position to get that data into the hands of decision-makers after Sandy, and the community was able to make fast, informed choices about monitoring. While the impacts from the storm will be felt for years to come, the hard work and long-term investments in resiliency research and outreach by New York Sea Grant has helped communities become more resilient in the face of coastal hazards like Hurricane Sandy.


"In the briefing, Jay [Tanski] demonstrated Sea Grant’s added-value to the NOAA team through providing technical expertise and assisting agencies at the federal, State and local levels to connect with researchers in order to address the aftermath of Sandy. -Kathy Bunting-Howarth, New York Sea Grant Associate Director

These presentations provided a concise overview of how NOAA and other federal agencies came together and coordinated efforts to respond to both immediate and long-term recovery efforts post-Sandy.  New York Sea Grant’s response effort to Sandy isn't an isolated incidence, it is just one example of how the network was able to come together and help the people in our communities. Similar stories exist throughout the entire Sea Grant network.

 

Speakers included:

Dr. Russell Callender, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the National Ocean Service

Dr. Louis Uccellini, Assistant Administrator for the National Weather Service          

Commander Linda A. Sturgis, Senior Military Fellow, Center for a New American Security and former Chief, Prevention Department, USCG Sector New York

Jay Tanski, New York Sea Grant Coastal Processes and Facilities Specialist 

Dr. Lisa Colburn, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center 

Captain Alek Modjeski, AECOM, Water Natural Resources Director 

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