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Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program

CRS and the Program for Public Information

In 2014, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program and partners received funding from the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program to provide technical assistance to Mississippi and Louisiana coastal communities participating in the Community Rating System (CRS). Through the project entitled Saving Money and Enhancing Resilience: Assisting Communities through the 2013 Community Rating System, the project partners will assist communities as they transition to the 2013 CRS Coordinators’ Manual and provide technical assistance in maintaining and improving the class rating under the new manual with emphasis on outreach, such as the creation of a Program for Public Information (PPI).

A PPI refers to a committee-based localized approach to community outreach under the CRS. A PPI is described as “an ongoing effort to prepare, implement, and monitor a range of public information activities. The objective of CRS credit for a PPI is to provide additional points for information programs that are (1) designed to meet local needs and (2) monitored, evaluated, and revised to improve their effectiveness. In other words, communities that conduct their CRS outreach activities through the coordination of a PPI stand to gain more points than they would for conducting the outreach as a standalone activity. A PPI planning committee becomes a value-added mechanism for maximizing a community’s CRS score.

The project team includes Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, Louisiana Sea Grant, Grand Bay NERR, and BlueUrchin working with local partners Mississippi Gulf Coast Coastal Hazard Outreach Strategy Team (C-HOST) and the Louisiana Southwest Informational Floodplain Team (SWIFT) to strategically develop materials that best address the needs of communities participating in the CRS. In Mississippi, C-HOST is a regional outreach team comprised of building officials, certified floodplain managers, NFIP CRS coordinators, and planning officials that serve the CRS communities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In Louisiana, SWIFT consists of floodplain managers and planners from three parishes (Vermillion, Cameron, and Calcasieu) and three municipalities (the cities of Sulphur, Lake Charles, and Iowa).

For more information, contact Project Lead Niki Pace.

Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program