By Bill Wilen – FWS News Release – November 30, 2012

In response to Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has accelerated the release of an interactive Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) Mapper (beta version).  This online mapper can be used to help property owners, project proponents, government officials, and other stakeholders determine whether properties or project sites may be affected by the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA).  Federal assistance for most emergency actions which are essential to saving lives and protecting property and the public health and safety is allowed within the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS).  However, federal funding for most activities that encourage development such as dredging new navigation channels; structural beach or shoreline stabilization projects; and the expansion of roads, wastewater facilities, and bridges; is prohibited within the CBRS unless the project meets one of CBRA’s exceptions (16 U.S.C. 3505).  There are also restrictions on the availability of federal flood insurance within the CBRS.  The CBRS boundaries depicted in the mapper are representations of the controlling CBRS boundaries, which are depicted on the official CBRS maps maintained by the Service and available for download at the CBRA website. The boundaries depicted in the mapper should not be relied on for making in/out determinations close to a CBRS boundary (i.e. the area identified within the “CBRS Buffer Zone”). In response to Hurricane Sandy, the Service has also updated its CBRA website with additional guidance on project consultations for federally funded actions within or affecting the CBRS.  This guidance can be found through the "Project Consultations" tab at the top of the CBRA website. Stakeholders requiring: (1) a CBRA property determination to determine whether or not a particular property is located within the CBRS for federal flood insurance purposes or (2) a project consistency consultation to determine whether disaster assistance or other federal funding is available for a particular activity within the CBRS, should contact the appropriate Service field office.  For more information on CBRA, please visit www.fws.gov/CBRA.