Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, walks past reporters as she leaves a Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 19, 2020. Credit: Susan Walsh | AP

YORK — The federal government is giving a southern Maine planning organization a funding boost to help prevent damage from natural disasters.

The Economic Development Administration has awarded $160,000 to the Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission, Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Independent Sen. Angus King said. The money will help pay for a strategy to mitigate the effects of recent and future natural disasters in York County, the senators said.

The commission’s executive director, Paul Schumacher, said the mitigation work will benefit a six-town coastal area that is an important piece of Maine’s tourism economy. He said sustaining tourism in the area requires “mitigating impacts from ever increasing coastal storm events.”