The Federal Emergency Management Agency has picked 273 projects to share $2.4 billion in grants under programs focused on increasing protection for communities, infrastructure and coastal areas against storms, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

The project selections, which FEMA announced Aug. 28, come from two resilience-related programs: Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and Flood Mitigation Assistance. 

The BRIC grants total $1.8 billion; the flood mitigation grants total $642 million.

The programs predate the 2021 enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. BRIC was launched in fiscal 2020; the Flood Mitigation Assistance program began in fiscal 2016.

But the $1.2-trillion infrastructure law has propelled FEMA’s annual resilience grant programs' funding to almost $3 billion this year, from $700 million at the start of the Biden administration, according to the Dept. of Homeland Security, which includes FEMA.

For the BRIC program, FEMA chose 124 projects in 38 states, one tribe and the District of Columbia. For the flood mitigation program, the agency picked 149 projects in 28 states and D.C.

As with other competitively selected grant programs, demand for the new round of resilience dollars far exceeded the supply. States, localities, U.S. territories and tribal governments sought a total of $5.6 billion.

“These projects will be a lifeline for many communities as we build a stronger, more resilient America,” Mitch Landrieu, the White House infrastructure coordinator, said in a statement.

For both programs, a project's federal share generally is 75% and the maximum grant is $50 million.

Major BRIC Awards

Among the larger BRIC grants are: $50 million for a downtown San Francisco resilience project to mitigate flood risks; $50 million for coastal flood resilience projects in Chelsea, Mass., including floodwalls, flood gates and a "living shoreline;" and $50 million for levee improvements and nature-based solutions to protect utility plants in Austin, Texas.

Also on the BRIC list are: $50 million to upgrade a canal and water-control structure in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and $49.99 million to New York City for nature-based improvements to increase stormwater infrastructure capacity in Corona, Queens.

Large Flood Mitigation Grants

Many of the Flood Mitigation Assistance awards are for relatively small grants, to help pay for elevating homes or other structures in flood-prone areas. But there are some large grants, including $50 million to build an additional spillway for New Bullards Bar Dam in Marysville, Calif.; $50 million to the city of South Bismarck, N.D., to rebuild a pump station and gate structure; and $50 million to Jefferson County, Texas, to build water detention and diversion facilities.

The latest awards follow FEMA's announcement in May of $136 million in BRIC grants and $24 million for flood mitigation program projects.

Story updates on 8/30/2023 to include funding for each FEMA grant program.