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01/22/2016

Gov. Malloy, Congressional Delegation Announce $54 Million Federal Grant for Storm Resiliency in Connecticut

(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today joined Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) Commissioner Evonne M. Klein and members of the state's congressional delegation to announce that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved a $54 million grant the state applied for that will be used to improve shoreline infrastructure and increase resiliency to combat future weather events.

"Over the last few years in Connecticut, we have transformed the way we respond to emergencies, and we are now more prepared to respond to an extreme weather event than ever before.  We are no doubt continuing to be proactive in modernizing our infrastructure so that our state - and especially our shoreline - is even more protected for the next severe weather event," Governor Malloy said.  "Global warming is real - the science is real.  And the more we all acknowledge that reality, the more prepared we can be for extreme weather.  I want to thank the Obama Administration, particularly Secretary Julián Castro and his team at HUD, the state Department of Housing, and our Congressional delegation for our united efforts to see that we can help communities better prepare for future storms."

Connecticut was one of a few states that received grants from the National Disaster Resiliency Competition (NDRC), which was a competitive funding round offered by HUD to ensure states are prepared for future weather events.  The grant will be administered by DOH, who has been the primary state agency charged with administering the Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.

"Under Governor Malloy's leadership we have made a swift and smart recovery from Super Storm Sandy," Commissioner Klein said.  "This funding will build on that success, ensuring that Connecticut is better prepared for future storms.  Making our state more resilient will safeguard residents and protect our shoreline from future storm damage."

"Bridgeport's South End has sustained repeated, severe flooding, damaging property, endangering lives and causing extended power outages - an experience shared by Connecticut's coastal communities all along the Long Island Sound," Senator Richard Blumenthal said.  "This substantial, competitive federal award will do more than just repair past damage - it will help ensure the South End will thrive for decades to come while also funding comprehensive planning efforts to proactively protect and preserve all of our coastal communities."

"Today is a transformational day for our coastline communities," Senator Chris Murphy said.  "Just days after HUD Secretary Julián Castro visited Connecticut, I'm pleased to announce that we have secured $54 million to rebuild more resilient communities along the Long Island Sound.  I first invited Secretary Castro to visit the state during an Appropriations Committee hearing last year, when I personally pressed him for additional Sandy relief funds.  Hurricane Sandy ravaged our coast and flooded our homes, and with the risks of climate change only getting worse, we can no longer rely on band aid fixes.  We need forward-looking improvements and bold investments.  Today's federal grant, which was made possible by the hard work and close collaboration of local, state, and federal leaders, gets us closer to that goal."

"Through this grant, we will address vulnerabilities to our infrastructure that can make such a difference in instances of extreme weather, which is becoming all too common due to climate change," Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said. "Events like Hurricane Sandy threaten the safety, health, and economy of our people and our state. I am pleased that we have been awarded this grant, so that we can reduce these risks, and factor the social and economic needs of local communities into our disaster planning moving forward."

"As we prepare today for another major storm to descend on the Eastern Seaboard, we remember the long-term damage that Sandy caused to our communities," Congressman Jim Himes said.  "Today's $54 million grant will help Bridgeport, Fairfield County, and other communities prepare for future disasters, which will save money and lives down the road.  The federal government has been a strong partner in helping us rebuild from the devastation of previous storms, and today we are continuing and expanding the efforts to make our communities more resilient and less vulnerable to the next disaster. Climate change is causing these extreme weather events to be more common, so there's not a moment to waste in our preparations."

"Though it has been over three years since Super Storm Sandy devastated the region, Connecticut still faces considerable recovery efforts," Congressman John Larson said.  "I commend Governor Malloy and HUD for their continued commitment to ensuring Connecticut emerges stronger and more resilient than ever.  I am proud to support our neighbors in Bridgeport and across the coastline in their efforts to guard against future flooding and storm damage."

"This grant announcement is great news for Connecticut and will go a long way to helping us prepare for future natural disasters," Congressman Joe Courtney said.  "With our state being located on the edge of the eastern seaboard with over 300 miles of coastline, we are particularly vulnerable to a range of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, coastal flooding, and sea level rise.  I'm very glad that HUD was able to recognize the risks faced by our state and has committed to helping us prepare for the worst, even as we hope for the best."

"Make no mistake, the National Disaster Resilience Competition was hard fought, and I am thrilled that the Department of Housing and Urban Develop is awarding $54 million for Connecticut to improve our infrastructure," Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty said.  "Having survived Super Storm Sandy and other recent disasters, Connecticut understands resiliency.  This federal funding will improve our ability to withstand the increasing challenges of climate change and recover quickly from natural disasters."

The State of Connecticut is focused on reconnecting and protecting economically-isolated coastal neighborhoods through investments in green streets that will protect against flooding as well as strengthen existing ties to transportation nodes.  This HUD funding will support a pilot project in Bridgeport that is part of the state's broader Connecticut Connections Coastal Resilience Plan.  Funds will establish the South End Resilience Network, reconnecting the South End community with the downtown via a raised greenway that, combined with a stormwater treatment park, will also provide protection from coastal flooding.  In addition, the funding will support the state's efforts to bring these same approaches to other at-risk communities along the I-95 corridor by contributing to planning efforts, including economic and climate modeling.

Funding for the following projects has been approved under the federal grant:

  • Bridgeport - South End East Resilience Network - $34,368,759: Elevation of University Avenue and construction of a greenway earthen berm to create a new baseline for the establishment of an urban coastal community that will be protected against future storms and sea level rise, removing the risk to reinvestment and inviting new development to strengthen this extension of downtown Bridgeport.
  • Bridgeport - Community Design Center - $1,000,000: Construction and rehabilitation of an anchor community center in the South End to serve as a design center and central location for future recovery efforts.
  • Bridgeport - South End District Energy Infrastructure Study - $350,000: Analysis of opportunities to utilize micro-grids, cogeneration systems, and alternative energy sources to limit disruptions in energy supply due to emergencies.
  • New Haven/Fairfield County - Floodplain Design Guidelines - $330,000: Development of new guidelines to incorporate cutting edge flood mitigation technologies
  • New Haven/Fairfield County - Connecticut Connections Coastal Resilience Plan - $18,228,600: Extend this existing planning effort to more communities in New Haven and Fairfield Counties with the goal of providing accessible downscaled inland and coastal flooding information at the watershed scale for inland and coastal municipalities.
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