Skip to content

$15 Million to help support Working Waterfronts Secured by Senator Collins

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she secured $15 million to help communities recover from coastal infrastructure damage in the Fiscal Year 2024 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill.  The bill was included in the March 8th funding package that was signed into law last week.

The legislation includes $10 million through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to repair and renovate infrastructure affected by recent storms and $5 million to establish a new program at the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for working waterfronts.  This funding supports the Working Waterfront Preservation Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Collins last November to create this new grant program at the EDA to help municipal and state governments, nonprofit organizations, and participants in maritime industries purchase or improve working waterfront property in coastal states.

“Maine’s working waterfronts are the economic engine of our coastal communities, but recent damaging weather events have posed significant challenges to their resilience and underscored the urgent need for federal assistance,” said Senator Collins. “This investment aims to revitalize working waterfronts across the country, allowing communities like Harpswell to recover from severe storm damage whose financial toll exceeds the capacity of local government to meet.”

Following the damaging storms of December and January on Maine’s coast, Senator Collins met with a group of fishermen, including members of the New England Fishermen’s Stewardship Association, at her office in Washington. Senator Collins also toured the storm-damaged sites in Harpswell and Bailey Island, accompanied by fishermen and town officials.

In addition to these efforts, Senator Collins also joined with the entire Maine Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to the President in support of Governor Mills’ request for a major disaster declaration for the December storm damage. The Delegation then sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in support of Governor Janet Mills’ request that they treat the devastating January 10th and January 13th storms as a single disaster event for purposes of damage assessment and reporting consistent with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.