Today, Vice President Harris announced that the Department of Commerce has recommended $300,000 for a project in Indiana to make communities and the economy more resilient to climate change, as part of the Investing in America agenda. The project in Indiana– and applicant based in Illinois– will create jobs and boost economic and environmental outcomes for Great Lakes communities. The awards are made under the Biden Administration’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) with additional funds leveraged from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
“Long-term restoration activities require hard work and input from the whole community,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, communities like Gary can continue to do the important conservation work that’s foundational to preventing the harmful effects of climate change.”
Administered by the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Climate-Ready Coasts initiative is focused on investing in high-impact projects that create climate solutions by storing carbon; build resilience to coastal hazards such as extreme weather events, pollution and marine debris; restore coastal habitats that help wildlife and humans thrive; build the capacity of underserved communities and support community-driven restoration; and provide employment opportunities.
“It is vital to incorporate community perspectives at every stage of the restoration process,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “Making sure everyone has a seat at the table will help turn a degraded wetland into a resource that the whole community can benefit from.”
“With historic flooding and other natural disasters happening more and more frequently, it’s clear that making our state’s communities more climate-resilient could end up saving not just taxpayers’ dollars, but lives as well,” said Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth. “I’m proud I was able to help secure critical support for a more climate-friendly future in both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act—and I will continue working to tackle our climate crisis and protect frontline communities.”
“Thank you to all the leaders at the U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, and the National Audubon Society for this dedicated work to improve the incredible wetland habitats in the City of Gary,” said Congressman Frank Mrvan (IN-01). “I was proud to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to create positive impacts in our communities, and I am grateful to see this continued action that will enhance the environmental wonders and economic activity in Northwest Indiana.”
This project is part of NOAA’s nearly $6 billion total investment under BIL and IRA. The recommended project and funding amount in Indiana is:
- Critical Habitat Restoration and Planning through Community Engagement in Gary, Indiana
National Audubon Society: $307,000
Funding Source: Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities
The National Audubon Society will conduct a community-driven planning effort and begin work to restore degraded wetland habitat along the West Branch of the Little Calumet River in Gary, Indiana. They will gather community members’ current perspectives and future visions to inform a plan for restoration at Marshalltown Marsh and Hatcher Park. They will also begin initial on-the-ground restoration at Hatcher Park.
Tom Di Liberto, firstname.lastname@example.org