The US Department of Commerce has recommended US$562m in project funding to make US communities and the economy more resilient to climate change and extreme weather events.
The awards are made under NOAA’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative and are funded by the Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and bolstered by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The funding includes investments in nearly 150 projects across 30 coastal and Great Lakes states and territories.
Gina Raimondo, US Secretary of Commerce, said, “The Biden-Harris Administration is moving aggressively to tackle the climate crisis and help communities that are experiencing increased flooding, storm surge and more frequent extreme weather events. These investments will create jobs while protecting people, communities and ecosystems from the threats of climate change, and help our nation take the steps it needs to become more resilient and build a clean energy economy.”
Components of the Climate-Ready Coasts initiative include:
- Funding of US$477m for high-impact projects that create climate solutions by strengthening coastal communities’ ability to respond to extreme weather events, pollution and marine debris; restoring coastal habitats to help wildlife and humans thrive; storing carbon; building the capacity of underserved communities to address climate hazards and supporting community-driven restoration; and creating jobs in local communities.
- US$46m in additional funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation National Coastal Resilience Fund for projects that will help communities prepare for increasing coastal flooding, sea-level rise and more intense storms, while improving thousands of acres of coastal habitats.
- US$39.1m in non-competitive funding to the 34 state and territorial coastal management programs and 30 national estuarine research reserves that work in partnership with NOAA under the Coastal Zone Management Act.
Rick Spinrad, NOAA administrator, said, “NOAA has a long history of working with community partners to advance our understanding of coastal processes, conserve coastal resources and restore habitat in ways that benefit wildlife, people and the economy. Funding through the President’s Investing in America agenda allows us to super-charge these activities so that communities, including Tribal governments, facing all types of climate impacts can prepare for what’s ahead, create climate-smart jobs and build economic resilience, and ultimately thrive.”