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Biden-Harris Administration recommends funding for American Samoa to strengthen “Climate-Ready Coasts”

Investing in America agenda brings $203,000 for climate action
Source: US-DOC press release

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The U.S. Department of Commerce has recommended $203,000 for a project in American Samoa to make communities and the economy more resilient to climate change, as part of the Investing in America agenda.

The project announced last week by Vice President Kamala Harris will create jobs and boost economic and environmental outcomes for coastal communities in American Samoa. The awards are made under the Biden Administration’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) with additional funds leveraged from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

 “The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to recommend this funding to help local governments in American Samoa map and monitor wetlands to keep their communities safe and habitats intact,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, we are making generational investments to ensure America’s coasts are Climate-Ready.”

This investment will benefit ecosystems and communities by completing an effort to verify and map wetlands, as well as conducting wetland monitoring, partner training, and community outreach workshops on their ecosystem benefits.

The effort will also support the update of land use permitting policies and regulations to help ensure the protection of these wetlands and the services they provide, including the mitigation of flooding, and will help identify and inform prioritization of future nature-based restoration projects in each wetland village.

Administered by the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Climate-Ready Coasts initiative is focused on investing in high-impact projects that create climate solutions by storing carbon; build resilience to coastal hazards such as extreme weather events, pollution and marine debris; restore coastal habitats that help wildlife and humans thrive; and provide employment opportunities.

 “Collaborating with our partners in local government is critical to our collective success,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “The protection, management, and monitoring of wetlands — and the villages that depend on them — is an investment that will yield great dividends.”

 “I appreciate the important work that NOAA does for the oceans we depend on, and these Climate Ready Coasts initiative funds to map wetlands and mitigate flooding,” said Congresswoman Aumua Amata.

“In American Samoa, every community is a coastal community, and our territory should be emphasized in all future climate and ocean health initiatives.”

This project is part of NOAA’s nearly $6 billion total investment under Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).