Building Coastal Resilience
Sixteen years to the day after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans with devastating effect, Hurricane Ida battered southern Louisiana in August of 2021, causing a catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, flash flooding, and widespread power outages.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are pummeling coastal communities with more frequency and severity. At the same time, the most recent United Nations report on climate predicts that average sea levels will rise between 24-30 centimeters by 2065, underscoring the increasing urgency to take action to build coastal resilience.
Last year, through the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF), Shell, along with partners including NOAA and the Department of Defense, supported the investment of more than $40 million to fund coastal resilience projects in 30 states and U.S. territories. The 49 grants the organization announced generated more than $58 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of nearly $98 million.
NCRF grants fund conservation projects that restore or expand natural features such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs, forests, coastal rivers and floodplains, and barrier islands that minimize the impacts of storms and other naturally occurring events on nearby communities. A complete list of the 2021 grants is available here.
In southern Louisiana, a community where Shell has deep roots, the projects funded the development of designs that will, once implemented, support the creation of new wetland habitat and restored degraded marsh on up to 1,500 acres of the Grand Bayou Canal to maintain ecosystem function and reduce storm surge damage risk.
In Port Fourchon, the investment served to enhance and protect 500 acres of salt marsh and contribute to the resiliency of critical infrastructure in the region, such as a section of Highway 1 that leads to Grand Isle, Louisiana.
The NCRF is a partnership between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), NOAA, the Department of Defense, Shell USA, TransRe and Oxy.