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Puerto Rico gets $3M allocation to continue fighting climate change

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a $3 million allocation from the Inflation Reduction Act to aid Puerto Rico in addressing climate change.

The funding is designated for two federal agencies to develop local initiatives.

The U.S. Geological Survey will receive $2,750,000 to help alleviate workforce capacity challenges and increase the climate expertise of Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER).

The allocation will support the development of the island’s climate workforce through training, fellowships and practicum opportunities for recent graduates, enabling DNER staff to pursue advanced degrees in climate adaptation.

Meanwhile, $250,000 will go to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to further the National Seed Strategy in Puerto Rico. The effort will fund seed collecting teams and seed production to ensure an adequate supply of native seeds for restoring ecosystems affected by fires, hurricanes, drought and other natural events.

In total, the U.S. Department of the Interior has announced $7 million to advance climate resilience and restore lands and waters in U.S. territories. A $3.9 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will support programs and projects in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. The funds aim to improve biosecurity, rehabilitate coastal areas and flora, and eradicate invasive species.

“The U.S. territories are an integral part of the fabric of America,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland stated. “As the Department stewards new investments from the President’s Investing in America agenda, we are working closely with our territorial partners to ensure they make the largest impact and reach as many communities as possible — particularly as these communities increasingly face the acute impacts of the climate crisis on their communities and ecosystems.”

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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