Through the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program, the Shinnecock Indian Nation has been awarded $3,750,000 plus an additional $314,000 in matching funds, tribal trustees announced Tuesday.
These funds are designated for the restoration of eelgrass, oyster, march and beach habitats and to reduce erosion, increase habitat and strenghthen shoreline resiliency.
Because of the grant, five to 10 full-time jobs will be created and contractors who are tribe members will have the opportunity to bid for work. The beachfront from Cuffee’s Beach to Ryer’s Creek will be replenished with new sand, and the nation hopes to put an oyster reef in Shinnecock Bay to reduce storm surge and brown tide.
“We are taking the lessons learned from this natural disaster to help local communities strengthen natural barriers between themselves and major storms such as Sandy that can cause major flooding and other damage,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said. “Together with our partners, we are stabilizing beaches, restoring wetlands, and improving the hydrology of coastal areas, both protecting local residents from the next big storm while creating jobs and restoring habitat for wildlife.”
Out of 375 proposals presented to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 54 were selected to recieve grants.