Washington-- The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, Doug Domenech, has announced an 'open season' for the U.S. Insular Areas to submit applications for technical assistance program (TAP) funding and maintenance assistance program (MAP) funding for fiscal year 2018. These grants are available to the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the freely associated states of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.
“While we are operating under a continuing resolution until December 8, for fiscal year 2018, this advance notice gives each jurisdiction time to consider their most important needs and priorities this year,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech. “We will be especially eager to work with the U.S. Virgin Islands as they begin contemplating their rebuilding needs following the hurricanes.”
TAP provides grant funding for short-term projects intended to meet immediate needs that can foster development in: accountability, financial management, economic development, education, energy, management control initiatives, disaster assistance, natural and cultural resources, capacity building, public safety/emergencies, health initiatives, and invasive species management.
MAP provides grant funding to support, develop, improve and, as much as possible, institutionalize infrastructure maintenance practices in the seven insular areas. Activities will support maintenance training to extend the life of island infrastructure, ensure the safety of maintenance technicians, and/or increase the capacity of infrastructure to withstand extreme events; this may include training of maintenance technicians that increases knowledge and awareness of measures to be taken to protect infrastructure from severe weather impacts.
The Department of the Interior is responsible for coordinating federal policy with respect to the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and administering and overseeing U.S. federal assistance provided under the Compacts of Free Association to the freely associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. The Office of Insular Affairs mission is to foster economic opportunities, promote government efficiency, and improve the quality of life for the people of the insular areas.