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Biden’s Investing in America agenda reaches the territories

by | May 10, 2023 | Federal Government, Headlines | 0 comments

President Joe Biden (D)’s Investing in America agenda has resulted in millions of dollars of funding for the American territories. With laws passed in the last two years, including the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act, the federal government is funding infrastructure, transportation, clean water, clean energy, and climate priorities. 

American Samoa

American Samoa will receive over $69 million in infrastructure funding, including $11.6 million in transportation infrastructure and $50 million in clean water infrastructure. Projects include the Pago Pago Airport rehabilitation, Aunu’u Wharf grant, Ofu Island resistance project, and the wetland and mangrove restoration project. The wetland project is part of Biden’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative, with $230,000 invested in American Samoa. In a press release, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) highlighted that the project will “make communities and the economy more resilient to climate change” and will “create jobs and boost economic and environmental outcomes for coastal communities.” The grant is part of a larger effort to support climate resilience and expanded support for coastal restoration and protection after the territory was struck by Tropical Storm Gita in 2018. The project will verify and map wetlands, conduct wetland monitoring, provide training and community outreach, update land use permitting policies and regulations, and identify restoration projects in each wetland village.


Guam will see over $142 million in funding from Investing in America agenda. As part of $29 million in transportation infrastructure and $45 million in clean water infrastructure, $12.5 million has been allocated for the Guam International Airport, $5.7 million for the Marine Transportation Enhancement Initiative, and $29 million for the Teleguam Development Grant to connect rural households to high-speed, affordable internet. The Guam Department of Education also received $9.9 million from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Bus Program to purchase 25 clean battery-electric school buses and chargers. The EPA released a press release highlighting how the “initiative will combat climate change by accelerating the transition to zero emissions vehicles while producing cleaner air in and around Guam’s schools and communities” and how the “investment will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for Guam’s schools, protect children’s health, drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.” Guam currently generates approximately 13% of its electricity from renewable energy and has plans to increase it to 50% by 2035 and 100% by 2045. The Guam Power Authority will be responsible for providing the electricity to power these electric school buses. 

Northern Mariana Islands 

The Investing in America agenda has spurred $80 million in new investments in the territory. Funding includes $16 million in federal investments to fund transportation projects and over $40 million for better access to clean water. The US Department of Transportation awarded the Commonwealth Port Authority a $3.1 million grant to support planning work for Saipan Harbor Navigation Improvements and a $7.6 million grant to improve the Francisco C. Ada & Saipan International Airport. The US Department of Agriculture awarded $21 million to strengthen safeguards against flooding, enhance irrigation infrastructure, and secure marine habitats in the Kagman watershed. A $5 million grant as part of the Climate-Ready Coasts initiative in the Northern Mariana Islands focuses on coastal restoration and protection, as the NOAA noted the $1.5 billion in damages on the islands after Typhoon Yutu in 2018. $5 million of the funding will go to removing abandoned and derelict vessels along with large marine debris. The rest of the grant will go towards restoring habitat in the Achugao and Laolao Bay watersheds on the island of Saipan, with the federal government partnering with large resource managers and community leaders.

Puerto Rico

Besides recommending funding of $34.4 million for projects in Puerto Rico to strengthen climate-ready coasts, the Biden-Harris administration has invested in climate and infrastructure. The laws passed in the last two years have pushed companies to commit over $200 million in private-sector investments across Puerto Rico, mainly in biotherapies and immunotherapies. About $1 billion in federal funding has already been announced for 35 infrastructure projects across Puerto Rico, including $566 million in federal investments to fund transportation projects and over $97 million for better access to clean water. The EPA also announced a $3 million Climate Pollution Reduction Grant, which includes “planning grants [that] will support states, territories, Tribes, municipalities and air agencies, in the creation of comprehensive, innovative strategies for reducing pollution and ensuring that investments maximize benefits, especially for low-income and disadvantaged communities.” Besides the $3 million to plan “innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies,” Puerto Rico will be able to receive funds to implement projects and initiatives included in the plans later in the year. Besides climate initiatives, the EPA announced $62 million in funding for essential drinking water infrastructure upgrades across Puerto Rico through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

US Virgin Islands

The federal government announced $148 million in federal funding, with $56 million in federal investments to fund transportation projects and over $32 million to improve water infrastructure. A $5 million grant for the Cyril E King Airport is meant to modernize infrastructure, improve safety, and address maintenance needs. The Department of Transportation awarded a $25 million grant to fund the second phase of the Charlotte Amalie Waterfront Revitalization Program, which will reduce traffic congestion in downtown Amalie and promote tourism. The Army Corps of Engineers will invest $51.7 million in a project that reduces flood risk during severe weather events in the Savan Gut area of Charlotte Amalie. Along with Puerto Rico, the USVI will receive $45 million from the EPA for essential drinking water infrastructure upgrades through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. $14.3 million from the NOAA’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative will fund the Multi-Site Coral Reef Restoration to Build Resilient Communities, Transformational Reef Restoration, and Residential Erosion Control.



Aamir Jamil

Aamir Jamil

Aamir Jamil is a student at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. After living in Switzerland and Saudi Arabia, he became fascinated with international affairs, politics, and history. He enjoys reading, researching politics and political trends, discovering American and world history, and poring over the news in his free time. Other hobbies include playing the clarinet and writing for the university newspaper. He is a Federal Affairs Intern Editor at Pasquines.


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