The Biden administration has announced project selections for nearly $3 billion in climate resilience funding, which will go toward helping the nation’s communities strengthen resilience to climate change and extreme weather events.
The new elections include $1.8 billion for resilience projects funded by the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities national competition and $642 million for Flood Mitigation Assistance projects. These selections follow a $160 million designation announced by FEMA in May for efforts to support mitigation projects, project scoping, and adoption of hazard-resistant building codes.
With this announcement, Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law now provides FEMA with nearly $7 billion to help communities proactively address climate change-caused weather events and hazards.
“From Hawaii to Maine, communities across the country are experiencing more frequent and intense severe weather events, resulting in devastating impacts to their homes, businesses, and families,” said Deanne Criswell, FEMA administrator. “Though FEMA will always help communities respond to and recover from these disasters, it is also paramount to build resilience before disasters strike.”
Plans for Building Resilient Infrastructure, Flood Mitigation Efforts
FEMA selected 124 projects across 115 communities for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program. Funded projects include work on strengthening electrical grids, upgrading pipelines, installing new sewer mains, and making storm drainage improvements, among other infrastructure advancements. About half of the projects use nature-based solutions to achieve their objectives, and an additional 46 local communities will be given technical assistance in building community-wide resilience.
149 projects were selected for FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance program, where funding will be used towards flood control and individual property mitigation projects. Such projects will include elevating structures, acquiring and demolishing structures that have been repeatedly flooded, and upgrading stormwater infrastructure.
These programs also align with Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which works to assist the most disadvantaged communities when building resilience to climate change.
“From hurricanes in the east to wildfires in the west, to tornadoes tearing through America’s heartland, every community faces some level of disaster risk,” said Criswell. “These frequent and intense events fueled by climate change demonstrate that mitigation funding continues to serve as one of our most powerful tools in reducing the impacts we’re seeing. We know these mitigation dollars will have the biggest impact at the local level, and that is why we are committed to delivering these funds to communities equitably and in a way that meets their unique needs.”