On June 29, 2022, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo announced funding opportunities from NOAA‘s $2.96 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to address the climate crisis and strengthen coastal resilience and infrastructure.
Over the next five years, NOAA’s targeted investments in the areas of habitat restoration, coastal resilience, and climate data and services will advance ongoing federal efforts toward building climate resilience.
“The climate crisis is affecting every community in the U.S. and impacting our nation’s economy,” said Raimondo. “The funding from NOAA will be used to support transformational projects that will help communities, especially underserved communities, build up local climate resilience and climate-ready infrastructure.”
NOAA will select high-impact projects that will incentivize investments in communities, states, and regions that can drive additional funding to complementary projects.
Funded projects will support three major initiatives:
- Climate Ready Coasts will help coastal communities build the future they want to see, investing in natural infrastructure projects that build coastal resilience, create jobs, store carbon, remove marine debris, and restore habitat. ($1.467 billion over five years);
- Climate Data and Services will support a whole-of-government effort to address the climate crisis by getting critical information and tools in the hands of decision-makers, particularly to address floods, wildfire, drought, and ocean health. ($904 million over five years); and
- Fisheries and Protected Resources will advance efforts to restore important fisheries habitat and promote community economic development. ($592 million over five years).
The investments will be scalable, leverage partnerships, and be responsive to the need for better climate information. NOAA will ensure the impact of this funding is equitable, coordinated, and results in projects that benefit Tribal Nations and underserved and underrepresented communities.
This announcement highlights Notice of Funding Opportunities for the coming year focused on habitat restoration, coastal resilience, and marine debris as part of the Climate Ready Coasts initiative including:
- Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants ($85 million)
- Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities ($10 million)
- Coastal Zone Management Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants ($35 million)
- National Estuarine Research Reserve System Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants ($12 million)
- Marine Debris Removal ($56 million)
- Marine Debris Challenge Competition ($16 million)
- Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions ($3 million)
The announcement builds on a series of steps that the Administration has taken over the month of June – National Ocean Month – to conserve and restore the health and productivity of the nation’s oceans and coasts for the benefit of all Americans.
“This funding provides NOAA and its partners with a historic opportunity to invest in the climate smart infrastructure of the future,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “Together, we’ll help ensure our coasts are climate-ready, our fisheries and protected resources are resilient, and our climate and data products reflect the needs of decision makers.”
These funding opportunities are designed to help coastal communities invest in and optimize green infrastructure and nature-based solutions to increase resilience to climate change and extreme weather events.
The White House Coastal Resilience Interagency Working Group (IWG), co-led by NOAA and the Council on Environmental Equality (CEQ), developed a resource guide to build climate resilience in the coast: Compendium of Federal Nature-Based Resources for Coastal Communities, State, Tribes and Territories.
Signed into law in November 2021, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure, competitiveness, and communities.
The significant increase in resources for NOAA will benefit the business community across a range of sectors including agriculture, seafood, energy and transportation, especially when it comes to products and services that help prepare for extreme weather and adapt to climate-driven events.
In addition, by supporting locally-led efforts to restore and conserve coastal habitat, these investments help advance the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative, which aims to conserve, connect and restore 30 percent of lands and waters in the U.S. by 2030.
Satellite image of Hurricane Florence courtesy of NOAA.