Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA)

Written By: Glenn Michaels, Op-Ed Writer

This past week there were two (2) hurricanes, one that missed the east coast of the United States and one that hit the State of Hawaii. The Atlantic Ocean’s island of Bermuda was hit with a category III hurricane however this storm turned north and east and did not hit the United States.

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Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean is from June 1 to November 30 of each year. So far it has been a very mild Hurricane season. To the best of my knowledge only one hurricane hit the United States thus far in 2014 and it was downgraded to a tropical storm. We still have more than a month to go for 2014 before the hurricanes are finished for 2014.

In 1982, Congress enacted the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) that was amended in 1990.

The CBRA protects coastal areas that serve as barriers against wind and tidal forces caused by coastal storms, and serve as habitat for aquatic species.

The CBRA protects coastal areas from development by limiting Federal financial assistance for development related activities in designated areas. To manage developments limited damage, and preserve wildlife and natural resources. CBRA restricts Federal financial assistance, including disaster relief assistance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Robert T. Stafford Act and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) boundaries and Otherwise Protected Areas (OPA) are established and mapped by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Lenders should exercise special care with properties in or near these areas.

Only Congress can revise CBRS boundaries

Various programs within FEMA’s have different responsibilities and restrictions under CBRA.
-Disaster Relief Assistance provided under the Robert T. Stafford Act, including:
Mitigation Grants
Public Assistance
Individual Assistance
The USFWS also has responsibilities under CBRA.

The NFIP cannot provide flood insurance coverage for structures built or substantially improved structures after the area is designated as a CBRS unit (initial designations went into effect October 1, 1983).

If there is NFIP insured building within the CBRS unit the NFIP will be cancelled.

NFIP may be provided if there are conservation structures in the CBRS.

The mitigation rules are also different for properties situated in CBRS.

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When examining an appraisal report and/or flood hazard determination and if either or both indicate that the property in question is under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act you the lender have got to seriously think again if you can make the loan.

About The Author

Glenn Michaels - As an op-ed writer, Glenn Michaels is a mortgage underwriting instructor for CampusUnderwriter ( As a BBA & FHA DE Underwriter, Glenn is a Pace University graduate who also graduated from New York University’s School of Mortgage Finance. Glenn has conducted numerous training classes and has worked in the mortgage banking industry for 38 years. 

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