Strengthening Coastal Counties Resilience: Team Challenge for Gulf of Mexico Communities


Eligible Counties


As public funding is increasingly strained, counties must search for new ways to improve their communities and local economies. The Strengthening Coastal Counties Resilience Challenge invites coastal counties from the Gulf of Mexico region with populations of less than 250,000 – and the communities within and surrounding them – to form multidisciplinary teams to apply to receive technical assistance. The technical assistance program will help communities identify ways to strengthen existing and implement new local plans and policies to increase resilience to extreme weather and climate-related hazards across the region.

Teams that submit winning applications will receive financial support to attend an in-person, 2 ½-day training and peer exchange workshop from October 15 – 17, 2018 in Baldwin County/Fairhope, Alabama. Guided by expert facilitators and practitioners, the training workshop will be designed to guide teams to develop plans to protect and strengthen both their natural habitats and economies. It will include panel discussions, skill-building sessions, small group exercises and team presentations.

Teams will improve their knowledge and understanding of the tools necessary to develop policies and plans to improve their coastal counties and communities, while at the same time creating strong regional partnerships that allow teams to better leverage available resources. Teams will leave the workshop with an implementable action plan, as well as an improved understanding of the types of resources available to help to plan for, prepare for, recover from and adapt to natural hazards.

In addition, each team will continue to receive technical assistance and mentoring support following the first training workshop. The post-workshop technical assistance will include a follow-up team clinic in October 2019 where teams will present on their progress, identify opportunities for further collaboration with the cohort, and receive additional trainings by experts in the field.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Announcement of Selected Teams: Friday, August 10, 2018
Workshop in Fairhope, Baldwin County, Alabama: October 15-17, 2018
Follow-Up Clinic in Mississippi (exact location TBD): October 2019

Program Information

Q Who should apply?

Communities within coastal shoreline or coastal watershed counties with populations of less than 250,000 who have FEMA-approved and locally-adopted hazard mitigation plans and are looking to bolster their resilience and ability to respond to coastal hazards. Note: Communities must form teams to apply.


Q Are there any requirements for the teams?

Teams must consist of at least one county elected official, one state or regional coastal manager and one local professional staff member with coastal management duties. Teams must have no less than four and no more than six members, and should have good cross-sector representation. A maximum of two representatives from a given organization are allowed to participate on a team.


Q Do the representative counties need to be a NACo member to apply?

No, counties are not required to be a NACo member to apply.


Q Is there an application fee?



Q How will applications be evaluated?

Applications will be evaluated and weighted, using a scale of 0 to 10, based on:

  • Cross-sector representation across the team members.
  • Strength of the proposed partnership.
  • Capacity of the team to follow through with their action plan and all workshop activities (i.e. are all relevant county and local agencies and officials on, or supportive of, the team?).
  • Community need, including the extent of poverty, population, county employment, county expenditures, risk of flood exposure and past disaster declarations.


Q Who will review the applications?

NACo, ASFPM and CSO staff will screen each application to ensure that basic eligibility criteria are met, and an external panel of national experts will evaluate team applications using the criteria listed above. The panel will assign a final score to each application and recommend for selection the most highly rated applications.


Q What will teams receive?

Teams will be invited to attend a training workshop on October 15-17, 2018. Following this workshop, each team will continue to receive technical support and mentoring as they implement their action plans. Teams will then be invited to participate in a follow-up workshop in Fall 2019. This is not a grant program; there is no financial award associated with participation.


Q Will selected teams have to pay a registration fee to attend the workshop?



Q Will there be travel funds for selected teams to attend the workshops?

Yes, NACo has secured funding to partially offset team travel costs for transportation and lodging.


Q What costs should teams anticipate to attend the workshop?

Teams should expect to cover a portion of their transportation, lodging and meal costs.


Q Will meals be provided at the workshops?

NACo will provide breakfast and lunch for each of the two full days of each workshop. Teams will be on their own for dinners.


Q Will NACo, ASFPM or CSO Staff visit selected communities to help with projects on the ground?

No, NACo does not have the budget to allow for site visits.


If you have any questions, please contact Jenna Moran at 202-942-4224 or

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