NOAA Recovery Support Team Meets with Stakeholders in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
NOVEMBER 12, 2019 — NOAA’s Recovery Support Team -- Donna Johnson, Acting Recovery Support Function Lead (Northeast Fisheries Science Center/ National Marine Fisheries Service, on rotational assignment to NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management) and Autumn Lotze, Natural Resource and Community Recovery Specialist (OR&R Disaster Preparedness Program) -- recently met with stakeholders and key decision makers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to discuss ongoing recovery needs and priorities following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Alongside Debbie Payton, federal Field Coordinator for Natural and Cultural Resource Recovery (Department of Interior), Donna and Autumn connected with local community members, NOAA regional team members, nonprofit leaders, and representatives from several federal and territory partner agencies to discuss current efforts and opportunities aimed at creating safer and more resilient coastal communities. These efforts included biomimicry projects to rebuild eroded sand dunes, coral triage and restoration of hurricane-damaged reefs, tsunami evacuation planning for vulnerable municipalities, and ocean economy initiatives.
NOAA’s products and technical expertise are important contributors to long term recovery especially when coastal communities and trust resources have been impacted by disaster, as seen in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
NOAA is committed to supporting the health and vitality of marine ecosystems and economies in the face of growing disaster risks; lessons NOAA is learning from these ongoing recoveries are informing the development of a NOAA-wide programmatic framework for long-term recovery that will better position NOAA to support the nation through the 2020 hurricane season and beyond.
For further information, contact Alyson.Finn@noaa.gov.