Made possible through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the federal grant will help Tribal communities plan for increased climate resilience measures. Senator Collins was a member of the core group of 10 Senators who negotiated the infrastructure package
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden welcomed a $5 million planning grant for the Passamaquoddy Tribe to respond to climate-related environmental threats. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s newly announced Voluntary Community-Driven Relocation program and funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“From rising sea levels to warming waters, the impacts of climate change are already threatening communities across Maine. This federal program, one of the first of its kind, will help the Passamaquoddy Tribe prepare for climate change with long-term resilience measures,” the Maine Delegation said. “As proud supporters of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re thrilled to see its investments are working to protect tribal communities in Maine and across the nation.”
The Passamaquoddy Tribe is one of eight Tribal communities nationwide receiving a total of $40 million for planning grants.
The Administration’s funding announcement was made during the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit, which provides an opportunity for the Administration and Tribal leaders from the 574 federally recognized Tribes to discuss ways the federal government can invest in and strengthen nation-to-nation relationships as well as ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come.
Alaska Native villages and Tribal communities in the contiguous 48 states are at risk of severe infrastructure damage due to climate-related environmental impacts, including sea-level rise, coastal erosion, extreme weather events threats, and threats from flooding, drought, and wildland fire. A 2020 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) study estimated that up to $5 billion will be needed over the next 50 years to address Tribal relocation infrastructure needs in response to climate change impacts.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a total of $466 million to the BIA over five years, including $216 million for climate resilience programs, provided as $43.2 million annually for five years. Of that funding, $130 million is provided for community relocation and $86 million is provided for Tribal climate resilience and adaptation projects. The Inflation Reduction Act provides BIA with an additional $220 million for climate adaptation and resilience, of which the Department anticipates spending $40 million to support Voluntary Community-Driven Relocation efforts, with the remainder supporting broader Tribal climate resilience activities.
Senator Collins, the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, was part of the core group of 10 Senators who negotiated the text of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and Senators Collins and King both worked to negotiate and pass this legislation in the Senate. Signed into law last November by President Biden with the support of Maine’s Congressional Delegation, the law offers a historic opportunity to invest in Maine’s roads and bridges, expand broadband and public transportation systems, improve climate resilience, build a clean energy future, ensure clean drinking water, and grow Maine's economy through sustained investment and good-paying jobs. The law is expected to deliver approximately $2.5 billion to Maine over the next five years for critical transportation, broadband, energy, and environmental projects.