Late Friday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the recipients of the $100 million FY 2017 Port Security Grant Program, and more than 33 ports were awarded direct grants.
The program is one of a number of measures authorized by Congress to strengthen critical infrastructure against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks. The funds are intended to improve port-wide maritime security risk management; enhance maritime domain awareness; support maritime security training and exercises and to maintain or reestablish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.
The investments made must address U.S. Coast Guard and Area Maritime Security Committee identified vulnerabilities in port security and support the prevention, detection, response, or recovery from attacks involving improvised explosive devices and other non-conventional weapons.
In the past, funds have been used to purchase rapid response boats and disaster exercises.
The funding program is a top American Association of Port Authorities priority. The House FY 2018 DHS Appropriations bill includes $100 million for the program, and the Senate is expected to mark up its version of a DHS appropriations bill this month.
Details of the 2017 awards are available here.