East Hampton Town was awarded a $250,000 grant this week from New York State to develop a Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan.
The grant will be used to gather and analyze scientific coastal data to develop a plan, which is expceted to include broad public input and awareness efforts and “will strengthen the resiliency of existing communities in East Hampton, address the needs of future generations and involve broad-based public involvement to develop and implement a community plan,” according to Deputy Town Supervisor Pete Van Scoyoc.
“The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise lend ever-greater urgency to coastal resiliency planning,” said Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, who added that citizen groups including the Concerned Citizens of Montauk helped the town’s planning and natural resources departments to receive the grant. “This grant will provide the funding to complete a Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan that examines erosion risks, storm vulnerability and natural recovery.”
East Hampton has been at the forefront of environmental issues on the East End this year, pledging to produce all its power through renewable sources by 2020, and last month unveiled a town electric vehicle charging station.
East Hampton Town planning and natural resources staff also participated in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “Climate Adaptation for Coastal Communities” training course at Stony Brook Southampton from Dec. 9 to 11, which included sessions on climate science, vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning and implementation.
“This three-day intensive course, sponsored by East Hampton and Southampton towns, the Peconic Estuary Program, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, the Peconic Institute and Stony Brook University, focused on providing coastal community organizations with a climate adaptation toolkit to proactively address coastal planning priorities and, as a result of our participation, we fully expect to immediately integrate climate adaption strategies into our coastal policies, plans and programs,” said town Natural Resources Director Kim Shaw.