NOAA coastal grant and Pacific basin health funds allocated for American Samoa
Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomes a grant of $1,033,000 for American Samoa through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
These funds are available to the American Samoa Department of Commerce under the Coastal Zone Management Act, passed initially in 1972, with budget appropriations since, by each Congress, for the National Coastal Zone Management Program.
“In American Samoa, our coasts are so beautiful, but can also include hazardous conditions or require preservation efforts, and all of our villages are coastal communities,” said Aumua Amata. “This program’s funds are used to develop these communities, work to protect coasts, and prevent unnecessary dangers and problems along these shoreline areas.”
“I want to especially thank Commerce Director Keniseli Lafaele for his ongoing efforts with this program,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “We also appreciate those at NOAA directing these funds to the needs of our communities and coasts in American Samoa.”
NOAA is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NOAA is led by Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, Dr. Neal Jacobs.
American Samoa’s use of these federal funds is part of a federal-territory partnership with the objective of responsibly developing, restoring and protecting coastal areas and their natural resources. These efforts include removing coastal hazards, water quality and habitat protection, and ensuring wave and storm surge possibilities are included in land use activity considerations.
PACIFIC BASIN HEALTH FUNDS
Amata also welcomes a federal Pacific Basin health grant. This discretionary funding of $167,000 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is designated to the American Samoa Department of Health.
“Thank you to Director Motusa Nua and Seiuli Elisapeta Ponausuia for their work with the Pacific Basin program,” said Amata. “Cumulative health funding from the federal government is necessary to meet the medical needs of our people, and provides important support for our health care professionals.”
“This is a discretionary grant, so we appreciate this determination by the Trump administration,” concluded Amata. “Thank you to HHS secretary Alex Azar and HRSA administrator George Sigounas for their leadership in ensuring continued availability of services.”
Pacific basin grants are an activity of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). HRSA’s mission from Congress is to provide health care and support to geographically isolated populations, such as American Samoa.
The administration works to deliver services and improve health care in these places, and to populations that are economically or medically in need. Notably, nearly 90 percent of HRSA’s budget is sent out as grants and cooperative agreements.