Resilience in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)

 

Coastal Protection


As stated in GCC's Managed Retreat Toolkit, “[r]ising sea levels in some areas are causing coastal roads and other public infrastructure to experience more frequent inundation during king tides or even daily high tides, more severe erosion and flooding from coastal storm events, and in some cases inundation or pooling from below that extends further inland as groundwater tables rise. These impacts create public safety hazards and prevent public infrastructure from functioning as intended, as flooded roads cause traffic delays, require detours, and in some cases, temporarily cut off sole access to communities. Roads that have been eroded, washed out, or weakened structurally (e.g., by heightened groundwater tables) can require more frequent and costly maintenance and repairs.” Governments can “prepare public transportation infrastructure assets for coastal impacts of climate change by (1) modifying asset design or adding protective features, (2) relocating or realigning assets, or (3) disinvesting in assets in high-exposure areas.” Moreover, as stated in GCC's Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit, “[i]nvestments in ‘natural resilience,’ referring to the ability of ecosystems and the natural environment to absorb and recover quickly from stresses or disturbances, can also bring many other environmental, social, economic, and health-related” benefits to communities. 

IIJA provides a mix of funding for new and existing programs and projects related to coastal issues. These programs and projects are administered by the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (under the Department of Homeland Security), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of the Army Corps of Engineers—Civil. This section highlights the coastal programs and projects that have resilience features. IIJA provides funding to existing hazard mitigation programs such as $500M for grants through the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act of 2020 (STORM Act). Additionally, money has been allocated for habitat restoration and ecosystem conservation projects through existing NOAA programs such as $207M for the Coastal Zone Management Program and $492M for the National Coastal Resiliency Fund.

On November 15, 2021, IIJA became Public Law 117-58. Each description below includes a citation to where the program is listed in IIJA. Any listed page numbers refer to the page numbers of the Public Law 117-58 PDF document linked here.

Information regarding the programs covered under Justice40 is found here and is updated as of August 18, 2022.


Programs and Projects

National Coastal Resilience Fund

  • Division J, Title II, Page 927
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: The National Coastal Resilience Fund is a partnership between NOAA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The “Fund restores, increases and strengthens natural infrastructure to protect coastal communities while also enhancing habitats for fish and wildlife.”See footnote 1 The “Fund invests in conservation projects that restore or expand natural features such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs, forests, coastal rivers and floodplains, and barrier islands that minimize the impacts of storms and other naturally occurring events on nearby communities.”See footnote 2 
  • Funding: $492M

Community-Based Restoration Projects

  • Division J, Title II, Page 927
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: For contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements to provide funding and technical assistance for purposes of restoring marine, estuarine, coastal, or Great Lakes ecosystem habitat, or constructing or protecting ecological features that protect coastal communities from flooding or coastal storms.
  • Funding: $491M

Mapping, Observations, and Modeling

  • Division J, Title II, Page 928
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: Funding for “coastal and inland flood and inundation mapping and forecasting, and next-generation water modeling activities, including modernized precipitation frequency and probable maximum studies.”See footnote 3
  • Funding: $492M

National Mesonet Program

  • Division J, Title II, Page 928
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: Funding “for data acquisition activities pursuant to section 511(b) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (division AA of Public Law 116–260),”See footnote 4 which is the National Mesonet Program’s work of installing “a network of soil moisture and plains snowpack monitoring stations, and modification of existing stations, in the Upper Missouri River Basin.”See footnote 5
  • Funding: $8,334,000 shall be available in fiscal year 2023 and $8,333,000 shall be available in each of fiscal years 2024 and 2025. 

Marine Debris Program

  • Division J, Title II, Page 928
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: The Marine Debris Program’s mission “is to investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris” and “envisions the global ocean and its coasts free from the impacts of marine debris.”See footnote 6
  • Funding: $150M for marine debris assessment, prevention, mitigation, and removal. $50M for marine debris prevention and removal through the National Sea Grant College Program.

Coastal Zone Management Program 

  • Division J, Title II, Page 928
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: Funding “for habitat restoration projects pursuant to section 310 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1456c), including ecosystem conservation pursuant to section 12502 of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 1456–1).”See footnote 7 
  • Funding: $207M

National Estuarine Research Reserve System 

  • Division J, Title II, Page 928
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: Funding “for habitat restoration projects through the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (16 U.S.C. 1456c), including ecosystem conservation pursuant to section 12502 of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 1456–1).”See footnote 8
  • Funding: $77M

Regional Ocean Partnerships 

  • Division J, Title II, Page 928
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: For the “Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs) to coordinate the interstate and intertribal management of ocean and coastal resources and to implement their priority actions, including to enhance associated sharing and integration of Federal and non-Federal data by ROPs, or their equivalent.”See footnote 9
  • Funding: $56M

Procurement, Acquisition and Construction

  • Division J, Title II, Page 929
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: For “research supercomputing infrastructure used for weather and climate model development to improve drought, flood, and wildfire prediction, detection, and forecasting.”See footnote 10
  • Funding: $80M 

Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies

  • Division J, Title III, Page 935
  • Agency: Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers—Civil
  • Description: Funding for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies projects. 
  • Funding: $251M

Federal Assistance

  • Division J, Title V, Page 958
  • Agency: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • DescriptionFunding for the STORM Act (Section 205 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5135), for the purposes of “establish[ing] hazard mitigation revolving loan fund programs” that can “fund projects that mitigate natural hazards including wildfires, earthquakes, drought, severe storm events, erosion, storm surges, and high water levels.”See footnote 11 Federal capitalization grants enable local hazard mitigation activities designed to decrease the loss of life and property, insurance costs, and the necessity for future federal disaster relief.See footnote 12
  • Funding: $500M total, $100M each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026

National Flood Insurance Fund: Flood Mitigation Assistance Program

  • Division J, Title V, Page 959
  • Agency: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Description: Money from the National Flood Insurance Fund for flood mitigation actions and assistance. “The Flood Mitigation Assistance Program is a competitive grant program that provides funding to states, local communities, federally recognized tribes and territories. Funds can be used for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program.”See footnote 13
  • Funding: $3.5B total, $700,000,000 each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.
  • Does Justice40 Apply?: Yes

National Estuary Program

  • Division J, Title V, Page 968
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Description: Funding for the National Estuary Program, which “is an EPA place-based program to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of estuaries of national significance.”See footnote 14
  • Funding: $132M total, $26,400,000 each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.
  • Does Justice40 Apply?: Yes

Save Our Seas 2.0 Act 

  • Division J, Title VI, Page 976
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Funding for grants under section 302(a) of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, which includes grants for improving local post-consumer materials management and assisting local waste management authorities to improve local waste management systems.  
  • Funding: $55M each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 

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