Funding is part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
US Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, all of R-Alaska, welcomed Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $39 million in Alaska infrastructure. This funding goes through the implementation of the? Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act (IIJA), which was enacted last November.
“The cultural identity and subsistence way of life of Alaska Native communities is directly tied to their lands and waterways. Unfortunately, many Alaskan communities are now at risk as the impacts of climate change are causing severe flooding and devastation, which is only getting worse over time. There are also a number of Alaska Native communities that lack access to one of our most basic needs: clean water. Having visited a number of these communities first hand, I have heard firsthand from Alaskans about what is at stake. I took this into account when I helped craft the Investment and Jobs Act in infrastructure and that I helped ensure that significant funding was dedicated to watershed protection and flood prevention efforts in Alaska,” said Senator Murkowski. “I am pleased to see Secretary Vilsack and the USDA bringing the provisions of our infrastructure law to fruition.”
“Year after year, Alaskans in many of our small rural towns find themselves at the mercy of Mother Nature as floods devastate homes and infrastructure and cut off their water supply,” said Senator Sullivan. “It’s a harsh reality that most Americans don’t have to face. In the face of these extreme weather events, infrastructure resilience is a top priority that I hear from rural Alaskans whenever I can visit. I am pleased to see that the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act is providing a major investment in vulnerable Alaskan communities that need erosion and flood protection, and constant access to drinking water.
“Alaskan waters are crucial to the cultural identity of Alaska Natives as well as to our state’s broader economy and way of life. Subsistence fishing, drinking water infrastructure and coastal erosion are all matters of vital importance to our Aboriginal communities. With that in mind, I worked hard to ensure that Alaska Native interests were understood by my colleagues in the lower 48 when drafting and passing what is now the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. », said Congressman Don Young. “This funding is critical, and I am grateful to Secretary Vilsack for recognizing the great need for watershed defense, flood prevention, and clean water initiatives in our state. Alaska has already received more than $1 billion from the bipartisan Infrastructure Act. I want to highlight what I find myself saying almost every week as funding rolls out: This legislation is a game-changer for Alaska. I look forward to continuing to partner with communities across our state to build the next century of infrastructure in Alaska. »?
The bipartisan Infrastructure Act provided $918 million to the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) watershed programs, which includes the Watershed Operations and Flood Prevention (WFPO) program.
Funding for the WFPO program for Alaska:
- Alakanuk Community Flood Protection: $2,555,000
- Shishmaref community flood protection and water supply: $8,800,000
- Tuntutuliak Community Flood Protection: $4,055,000
- Kwigillingok Community Flood Protection: $4,155,000
- Kotlik Community Flood Protection: $8,055,000
- Golovin Community Flood Protection: $3,055,000
- Tununak Community Flood Protection: $9,055,000
A full list of projects is available here.
The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program helps federal, state, local, and tribal governments protect and restore watersheds by preventing erosion, addressing floodwater and sediment damage, improving water supply and quality, enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, preventing flooding, for hydroelectric sources, and advancing water conservation.
To learn more, visit?usda.gov.???
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