Photo Credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel |This work is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

The City of Newport today announced that it has been awarded a $598,000 grant from the Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment, to develop strategies to protect critical resources along the West Side of Aquidneck Island from the anticipated effects of storm surge and sea-level rise.

In addition to the City of Newport, the project will also engage stakeholders from the towns of Middletown and Portsmouth along with experts from the University of Rhode Island, Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), and the Navy War College to develop a strategic plan with specific actionable recommendations to make the area more resilient to coastal threats, according to a press release from the City of Newport.

Along with the Navy and the two surrounding municipalities, the University of Rhode Island’s modeling and coastal resources experts will reportedly play a significant role and help provide strategies for the protection of key infrastructure through advanced digital modeling and simulations.

The project will model both the scenarios of storm surge and rising seas levels – and analyze the consequences that have the potential to adversely affect the installation related to infrastructure both within and outside of the Naval Station.  Assessing these impacts is necessary in order to maintain, improve, or rapidly reestablish Naval Station Newport’s mission and mission-essential functions.  

In addition to drawing on data-driven models, the plan will also rely on the expertise of a broad group of stakeholders through focus groups and other approaches throughout the 18-month project.

The effort is expected to get underway immediately.