The U.S. Department of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has announced a groundbreaking $2.6 billion initiative aimed at bolstering climate resilience and supporting coastal and great lakes communities across the United States. The funding will be provided under President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, as part of the larger Investing in America Agenda. This comprehensive framework emphasizes environmental justice and places a particular focus on tribal priorities and the well-being of coastal and Great Lakes communities. Doubtless this will create interesting opportunities for the dredging industry.
Key Programs and Initiatives:
- Climate Resilience Regional Challenge ($575 million): NOAA will fund a new competitive grant program that will invest in holistic, collaborative approaches to coastal resilience at regional scales. This will include two funding tracks: Regional Collaborative Building and Strategy Development, and Implementation of Resilience and Adaptation Actions. Details will be available in early summer.
- Tribal Priorities ($390 million): NOAA will provide funding specifically for tribes to support habitat restoration, fish passage, capacity building, science, fish hatcheries, and Pacific salmon.
- Climate-Ready Fisheries ($349 million): NOAA will support projects to conserve fisheries and protected species in coastal regions around the country. This work will enable NOAA to build dynamic fisheries management systems that incorporate climate and ecosystem environmental data to support management decisions.
- Ocean-Based Climate Resilience Accelerators ($100 million): NOAA will fund a new competitive business accelerator program to fill a critical unmet market need. These accelerators will support businesses with coastal and ocean-based resilience products and services related to NOAA’s mission as they navigate commercialization pathways. These businesses will help communities prepare for, adapt to, and build resilience to changing climate conditions. Details will be available in early summer 2023. NOAA will also advance existing resilience-related funding opportunities, through programs such as the National Oceanographic Partnership Program and the Ocean Technology Partnership program.
- Climate-Ready Workforce ($60 million): NOAA will meet the emerging and existing needs of employers by placing workers in high quality jobs that enhance climate resilience. Funding will also aid training and support services that will help American workers advance their careers and implement climate resilience efforts within public and private sectors. Details on this new competition will be available in early summer.
Read the full press release here