Leaders from the U.S Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and the White House announced the project selections for nearly $3 billion in climate resilience funding after record-breaking demand. Funded through two competitive grant programs, the projects will help communities across the nation enhance resilience to climate change and extreme weather events.
The latest selections include $1.8 billion for critical resilience projects funded by the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) national competition and $642 million for Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) community-scale flood mitigation projects. These awards build on $160 million in BRIC and FMA selections that FEMA announced in May for efforts to support mitigation projects, project scoping, and adoption of hazard-resistant building codes. Combined, the funds awarded this grant cycle of the BRIC and FMA programs total nearly $3 billion, including management costs.
The agencies said President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda has provided record funding to FEMA’s annual resilience grant programs, increasing them from $700 million when he took office to $3 billion this year. As such, these latest selections have a broader reach and include projects in 23 states that have never before received BRIC funding. Furthermore, much of the funding is designed to benefit disadvantaged communities.
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said, “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. Though FEMA will always help communities respond and recover to these disasters, it is also paramount to build resilience before disasters strike.”
Both programs received applications representing an “intense demand” for climate resilience funding. State, local, tribal, and territorial governments submitted record-breaking requests for funding totaling a combined $5.6 billion for these two grant programs.
Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities
For the BRIC national competition, FEMA selected 124 projects across 115 communities. The selections span all 10 FEMA regions, including 38 states, one tribe, and the District of Columbia. These are critical mitigation projects and activities to reduce natural hazard risks.
Examples of funded projects include:
- Strengthening the electrical grid in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, including by equipping poles and wires to withstand 150 mph winds. The project should decrease the risk of power outages to residents and critical facilities.
- Upgrading pipelines in the Central Utah Water Conservancy District to withstand seismic activity. Pipelines will be designed to withstand a 975-year seismic event.
- Installing new sewer mains in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood to protect over 600 homes from flooding. The area has seen repeated major flooding since the 1950s.
- Building three critical electrical hubs in Ko‘olaupoko, Hawaii, to keep the power on during severe weather and long outages.
- Installing critical infrastructure upgrades to the Hobart Creek Reservoir Dam in Nevada to enhance safety and protect the water supply. This work will help to mitigate the risk of a catastrophic breach during earthquakes or major precipitation events.
- Making storm drainage improvements in Greenville, North Carolina, that will reduce flood risk for 90 homes.
- Reducing extreme heat conditions in Portland, Oregon, by planting 10,500 trees over three years to reduce the impacts of heat islands as well as mitigate urban flooding during extreme rainfall events as well as improve air quality.
- Supporting a comprehensive wildfire mitigation program in Napa County, California, to provide long-term wildfire and climate resilience for many of its residents and communities.
- Funding a new water pump station in Philadelphia to reduce flood risk and improve water quality and quality of life throughout the city.
A total of 64 of the projects selected use nature-based solutions to achieve program objectives. In addition to funding for flood mitigation, wildfire, and drought, this year’s selections also include the first BRIC funding for extreme heat.
Flood Mitigation Assistance
For the FMA program, FEMA selected 149 projects in National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)-participating communities in 28 states and the District of Columbia. This funding will go towards flood control and individual property mitigation projects, such as elevation, acquisitions, and mitigation reconstruction of repetitively flood-damaged buildings.
Examples of funded projects include:
- Elevating 84 structure to two feet above the Base Flood Elevation and open green space for the community in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
- Acquiring and demolishing repetitively flooded structures in Machesney Park, Illinois, to eliminate repetitive flood threats to property and convert to green space.
- Upgrading a stormwater infrastructure system in Harris County, Texas.
- Elevating 19 single-family homes in the Florida Keys using piers and concrete footings to at least three feet above the Base Flood Elevation, or to the elevation set by the local floodplain ordinance, whichever is higher.
Approximately $212 million (33%) of this cycle’s FMA project selections will go to disadvantaged communities.
Learn more about selected projects on FEMA.gov.