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Governor Lemanu Signs Bill Designating American Samoa Coral Reefs as Critical Natural Infrastructure

On March 22, 2024, Governor Lemanu signed the senate bill into law, designating our coral reefs as critical natural infrastructure. Designating coral reefs as natural infrastructure will facilitate future federal funding of coral reef restoration by supporting the identification of coral reef restoration as an eligible project type across federal grant programs. For example, when program eligibility requirements are met, coral reef restoration can be an eligible activity under FEMA Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs. However, the novelty of funding coral reef restoration under FEMA’s grant programs presents challenges to applicants seeking funding for these types of projects. This local recognition of coral reefs as natural infrastructure will strengthen applications for coral reef restoration under FEMA grant programs, particularly under the Public Assistance program, wherein funding can only be allocated to repair or protect disaster-damaged public infrastructure.

Public Law 38-13 An act designating the Coral Reef as Critical Natural Infrastructure
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