Biden-Harris Administration recommends funding of $22.5 million for projects in southern California to strengthen Climate-Ready Coasts as part of Investing in America agenda

A photo collage of just some of the projects being recommended for funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and NOAA's Climate-Ready Coasts initiative.

A photo collage of just some of the projects being recommended for funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and NOAA's Climate-Ready Coasts initiative. (Image credit: NOAA)

Today, Vice President Harris announced that the Department of Commerce has recommended $22.5 million for projects across southern California to make communities and the economy more resilient to climate change, as part of the Investing in America agenda.  Across southern California, seven projects will create jobs and boost economic and environmental outcomes for coastal 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). 

“Californians know all too well the ecological and economic damage that extreme weather, pollutants, and erosion can cause,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “That’s why the Biden-Harris Administration is making this generational investment in climate readiness, which will help develop new technologies, remove marine debris and litter from waterways, and strengthen habitats to mitigate these threats and protect California’s coasts for current and future generations.”

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.

“These recommended projects will not only advance floodplain and wetland habitat restoration and protection efforts across southern and central California, but also greatly strengthen our climate resilience throughout local communities, benefitting the wider ecosystem as a whole,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D.  “NOAA is proud to recommend these projects to help coastal communities invest in their future and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

“As the climate crisis continues to threaten coastal communities in California and across the country, this funding will help us build the resilient infrastructure necessary to protect against rising sea levels, eroding coastlines, and more frequent and intense storms,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “These funds will also help us better protect our communities while stimulating local economic development. I will continue working to make critical investments in California’s infrastructure to better protect communities up and down our coastline.”

“I’m proud to see the investments we worked hard to secure in both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act begin to make an impact in California,” said Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation. “NOAA’s work in California is critical as we address the impacts of the climate crisis with innovative mitigation and adaptation strategies. The Climate Ready Coasts initiative will create jobs in California, strengthen the state’s coastal economy, restore and protect land and water, and equip historically-underserved communities with resources to address climate hazards. As the Ranking Member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I’m glad to see NOAA take this next step and will be following along closely as the initiative continues.”

“The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is an absolute treasure chest of natural beauty and bounty for the 19th Congressional District and the people from all over the world who are fortunate enough to visit the central coast of California,” said Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-19). “However, with such richness, comes responsibility in ensuring protections and enhancements for the Sanctuary and its accompanying biodiversity, tourism economy, research, and educational opportunities. As the federal representative for the 19th Congressional District, I’m proud that the federal government continues to play its part to safeguard our Sanctuary with such significant federal investments that will remove and prevent unwanted debris from our ocean."

“I am so glad that California will soon benefit from over $550 million in funding to support our great coastal communities. This investment is a reflection of the impact that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act are having in areas across our country, especially when it comes to safeguarding our environment and building up climate-resilient infrastructure,” said Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37). “As Vice-Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, I will always applaud projects that create good-paying jobs and do right by communities directly affected by climate hazards.”

These projects are part of NOAA’s nearly $6 billion total investment under BIL and IRA. Recommended projects and funding amounts in southern California include:

  • High-Impact and Large Marine Debris Removal throughout the National Marine Sanctuary System
    National Marine Sanctuary Foundation: $14.9 million   
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Removal Competition
    This project will remove large marine debris from five national marine sanctuaries and two Tribal ancestral waters located off the coasts of Washington, California, Texas and Louisiana including Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in partnership with California State Parks.
  • Commercially Scalable End-Of-Life Solutions for Agriculture Field Plastic Films Used in Watersheds Draining to National Marine Sanctuaries
    California Sea Grant: $2.7 million 
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Challenge Competition 
    This project will help develop technologies and best management practices that will maximize the removal of polyethylene mulch film and make it an attractive feedstock for manufacturing new plastics. The project aims to involve historically excluded communities in California in creating innovative solutions to address plastic pollution and marine debris resulting in a collaborative effort to transform growing techniques and processes that work with industry to prevent marine debris from entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.
  • Enhancing Climate Resilience through Coastal Ecosystem Restoration in Elkhorn Slough
    Elkhorn Slough Foundation: $2.2 million 
    Funding Source: National Estuarine Research Reserve System Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants
    This project will restore three iconic coastal habitats within the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, significantly increasing the extent of tidal marsh vegetation, native grassland, and oyster habitat. The funding will invest in restoration, monitoring, and stakeholder engagement at the reserve’s Hester Marsh restoration site, adding value to existing investments at this site. The project will also engage a number of community groups, including local Native American tribal members and the broader coastal management community. 
  • Clean Streets, Clean Seas: Innovating Public Works to Intercept Microplastics in Urban Runoff
    University of Southern California Sea Grant: $1.2 million     
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Challenge Competition 
    The University of Southern California Sea Grant and City of Santa Barbara will provide the first measured and reported results on the impacts of street sweeping and trash capture devices on microplastics marine debris in stormwater runoff, which transports the bulk of terrestrial microplastic to the sea. The project aims to intercept microplastic between deposition on street surfaces and discharge into the ocean and engage interested groups through outreach to maximize impact and innovation of research approach and findings. The work will be carried out in collaboration with a number of California municipalities, research institutions, and street sweeping industry experts. 
  • Baldwin Hills Parklands Community Connection: Habitat Restoration and Climate Resiliency 
    Nature Nexus Institute: $928,000
    Funding Source: Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities 
    Nature Nexus Institute will engage community members in South Los Angeles in habitat restoration through nature hikes, field trips, workshops, and hands-on restoration activities. They will restore habitat at two parks in the Baldwin Hills—Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park and Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area—that are the closest no-cost, open space recreational areas available to local residents.
  • Advancing Equitable Resources to Marine Debris Solutions Through California’s Ocean Litter Strategy
    California Sea Grant, University of Southern California Sea Grant: $298,000 
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions
    This project will help strengthen the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Accessibility focus of the California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy to increase the accessibility, equitability, and justice of litter pollution solutions in California. The project aims to increase involvement of groups who have been largely missing from marine debris conversations and actions, including traditionally underserved community-based groups and California Tribes. Specifically, this project will engage and identify the needs of local communities and establish a coalition to inform coordinated investments in community-based marine debris solutions.
  • Optimizing Interception Technology through Upgrades, Maintenance, and Outreach at Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve
    California Department of Parks and Recreation: $268,000 
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Removal Competition
    This project will improve an existing trash boom that captures debris entering the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve from Mexico. The project will reposition the trash boom, install new floats to better reinforce the boom against water flow, and develop an educational outreach video to share lessons learned and diverse perspectives from each of the three nations represented in the Tijuana River watershed—the Kumeyaay Nation, Mexico, and the United States.


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