The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced the fiscal year 2021 funding opportunity under the Effects of Sea Level Rise (ESLR) Program:

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Approximately half of this year’s funding will focus on surface transportation resilience.  The ESLR Program is soliciting proposals to evaluate and quantify the ability of natural and nature-based features (NNBF) to mitigate the effects of sea level rise (SLR) and inundation (storm surge, nuisance flooding, and/or wave actions).

The Surface Transportation Resilience focus area will fund projects to provide transportation agencies with methodologies to estimate the extent, timing, frequency, and costs of future coastal flooding on roadways, rail, and transit, as well as asses the effectiveness of NNBF in mitigating risks in comparison with conventional strategies.  As part of evaluating NNBF benefits to surface transportation infrastructure, the research program is seeking to develop improved methods of predicting pavement deterioration for roadways exposed to repeated coastal flooding events.

NOAA expects to fund two to four projects of two to four years under the Surface Transportation Resilience focus area at a level of approximately $200,000 to $500,000 per year per proposal.  The findings from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Nature-based Resilience for Coastal Highways project informed the development of priorities for this focus area.

Eligible applicants include universities, non-profits, state, local, and Indian Tribal Governments, U.S. Territories, and for-profit organizations.  Federal agencies that have authority to receive transfer of funds are also eligible.

To be successful, applicants will need to form transdisciplinary teams with expertise across the relevant areas.  This includes members of both the coastal management community (coastal resource managers, coastal engineers, hydrodynamic modeling experts, coastal ecologists) and the transportation community (state and local transportation agencies, pavement design and material engineers, civil and hydraulic engineers, asset management experts).

Note that a letter of intent is required to submit a full proposal. The letter of intent (LOI) is due by 11:59 PM on October 16, 2020, while full proposals will be due by January 11:59 PM on January 7, 2021. The LOI is for guidance purposes only and all teams who submit a LOI are able to submit a full proposal. Please see NOAA’s funding announcement for information on the requirements and process for submitting a letter of intent and full proposal.

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For more information, contact of NOAA or of FHWA.