By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs announced today that $555,765 has been made available under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands to restore native vegetation and mitigate environmental hazards on mined land, both federal and non-federal.
“This Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment for the territories provides a unique opportunity to restore any damage that has been done in dredged or mined areas in the territories, which qualify for this funding,” said deputy assistant secretary for Insular and International Affairs Keone Nakoa. “We encourage the territories to take advantage of this opportunity to mitigate damages and restore natural landscapes, shorelines, or environments.”
Examples of man-made activities that have disturbed landscapes or shorelines could include but are not limited to sand/gravel/coral mining where such materials have been extracted or dredged from the land, beaches, inland dunes, the ocean, and riverbeds.
Such activities are often used to support manufacturing, construction, and road development. Funding has been prioritized to mitigate these landscape disturbances utilizing native vegetation and local natural resources.
The Office of Insular Affairs encourages applications from the territories for infrastructure funding. Applications must be submitted via www.grants.gov under CFDA# 15.875 for the Office of Insular Affairs and are due by Aug. 1.
Look for future announcements related to Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for the territories that can be used to combat invasive species, propagate native vegetation, and restore recreational lands. (DOI)