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DBEDT News Release: Hawai’i joins Silver Jackets Program

Posted on Aug 24, 2021 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The State of Hawaiʻi has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a Hawaiʻi Silver Jackets Interagency Collaboration Team under the State’s Hawaiʻi Ocean Resources Management Plan (ORMP). The State Office of Planning and Sustainable Development’s Coastal Zone Management Program will serve as the lead coordinating agency for the State. The Silver Jackets is a nation-wide program focused on reducing coastal flood risks. Now that the state team is formally recognized, Hawaiʻi is now eligible for support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via technical advisory and annual funding opportunities.

“From a national perspective, this marks a major milestone for the Silver Jackets vision, with Hawaiʻi becoming the 50th state to form a Silver Jackets team,” says Ellen Berggren, National Silver Jackets program manager. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers affirms our commitment to support Hawaiʻi, bringing our expertise and resources and a collaborative spirit to work together to identify and implement solutions to address flood and coastal hazards in the Pacific.”

The Hawaiʻi Silver Jackets Team will operate within the State’s Hawaiʻi Ocean Resources Management Plan and its already existing multi-agency framework. “We welcome this partnership that further solidifies the Army Corps’ commitment to support local approaches to address our state’s significant risks from coastal flooding. Coastal hazards, including flooding from sea level rise, is listed as one of the ORMP’s three main focus areas and the Silver Jackets Team will play a key role in providing technical support and leveraging resources to best address this issue,” said Justine Nihipali, Coastal Zone Management program manager and state lead.

As a partnership-based program, the Hawaiʻi Silver Jackets team will create and facilitate inter-agency coordination on strategies to reduce coastal flood risks. Other participating agencies include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant Program. The Silver Jackets is a nation-wide program, and with the establishment of the Hawai‘i team, there are now Silver Jackets Teams in all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia.

The quarterly ORMP Working Group meeting held on Aug 5th, 2021, marked the first official meeting of the Hawaiʻi Silver Jackets Team.

To learn more about the Silver Jackets Program, visit

To learn more about The Hawaiʻi Ocean Resource Management Plan, visit or download the plan at



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