Federal funding boost for climate resiliency heading to coastal communities

Coastal communities across the country will receive $2.6 billion in federal funding to prepare for environmental and economic disruptions caused by climate change.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo called the funding “the most significant direct investment in climate resilience in the nation’s history,” in a department announcement Tuesday. 

The money was included in the federal Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed by Congress last year. It will be distributed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

The bulk of the money – $575 million worth – will go towards a new grant program for projects aimed at climate resiliency in coastal communities. NOAA said it will announce more details about how that program will work this summer. 

And $390 million will be earmarked specifically for tribes. NOAA consulted with 43 tribes and Native Corporations to outline priorities needing a funding boost – like habitat restoration, protecting salmon populations and better research and monitoring programs.

Another $350 million are aimed at what NOAA calls supporting “climate-ready fisheries.”  

The money will be distributed nationally. Tuesday’s announcement didn’t indicate how those funds might shake out regionally – or for Alaska, which has more coastline than the entire Lower 48.

Both Alaska’s senators voted against the Inflation Reduction Act back in 2022, saying at the time it would add to billions of dollars of spending and new taxes. Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat was empty at the time of the vote.

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