The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) makes our communities safer and our infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber-attacks, with an investment of more than $50 billion to protect against droughts, heat, floods, wildfires, and cyber threats, in addition to a major investment in weatherization. The legislation is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history.
This bill contains historic funding for resilience to all hazards – including cyber, climate, and other threats communities face. Some of the most significant of these investments are:
(1) Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Grants ($8.7 billion),
(3) Wildfire Management ($8.25 billion)
(4)Investments in Resilience through the Army Corps of Engineers ($7 billion)
(5) Western Water ($3.8 billion),
(6) Flood Mitigation Assistance Program ($3.5 billion) (6) Weatherization ($3.5 billion)
(7) Cybersecurity ($1.3 billion).
PROTECT (Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation) Program includes $7.3 billion in formula funding that will be distributed to States and $1.4 billion in competitive grants to help States and local agencies improve the resiliency of transportation infrastructure. PROTECT grants include resilience improvement grants, community resilience and evacuation route grants, and at-risk coastal infrastructure grants. Beyond formula funding which states will administrate, these grants will be available:
- Planning — As 10% of the annual PROTECT program, $140 million will be available annually for developing resilience improvement plans, providing technical capacity building to assess the vulnerabilities surface transportation assets and community response strategies, and performing evacuation planning and preparation. Applications will be announced.
- Resilience Improvement (Competitive) — This grant is intended to help “improve the ability of an existing surface transportation asset to withstand one or more elements of a natural disaster, or to increase the resilience of surface transportation infrastructure for the impacts of changing conditions such as sea level rise, flooding, wildfires, extreme weather events, and other natural disasters.” Applications will be announced.
- Community Resilience and Evacuation Route Grants (Competitive) — This grant are to “strengthen and protect evacuation routes”. Applications will be considered along their cost-effectiveness and how much they consider current and future conditions & vulnerabilities. Applications will be announced.
- At-Risk Coastal Infrastructure (Competitive) — This grant is for strengthening, stabilizing, hardening, elevating, relocating, or otherwise enhancing the resilience of highways to protect them from weather, natural disasters, and changing conditions. Applications will be announced.
The money allocated to Wildfire Management encompasses a suite of programs aimed at reducing risk of wildfires, detecting wildfires, instituting firefighter workforce reforms and building more resilient infrastructure to be overseen by the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior, and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. The largest portion of this funding is for the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service ($3.37 billion) and the Department of the Interior ($1.46 billion) for wildfire risk reduction.
Investments in Resilience through the Army Corps of Engineers allocates funding to the Army Corps with specific set-asides for projects related to coastal storm risk management, hurricane and storm damage reduction, inland flood risk management, and aquatic ecosystem restoration.
Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Mitigation Assistance Program financial and technical assistance to States and communities to reduce the risk of flood damage to homes and businesses through buyouts, elevation and other activities.
The Weatherization program reduces energy costs for low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring health and safety.
Money allocated to Cybersecurity is spread across multiple programs to strengthen cyber systems and defense against future attacks, including funding for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial grants for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, cyber response and recovery, and Research & Development in cyber.
In addition to specific funding made available through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, communities and States that are seeking Federal funding for locally-important resilience investments should explore potential opportunities under existing resilience focused programs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Housing & Urban Development. Both Agencies have robust resilience funding programs, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Building Resilient Infrastructure & Communities (BRIC) program.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) –
U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) –
U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) –
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) –
The Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG) program provides grants to at-risk communities to develop or revise a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and to carry out projects described in a CWPP that is less than 10 years old.
CWDG is authorized through the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act (IIJA) and provides $1 billion for this program over a five-year period (fiscal years 2022 through 2026). CWDG prioritizes at-risk communities that are in an area identified as having high or very high wildfire hazard potential, are low-income, and/or have been impacted by a severe disaster.
CWDG helps communities in the wildland urban interface (WUI) implement the three goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy):
- Restore and Maintain Landscapes: Landscapes across all jurisdictions are resilient to fire-related disturbances, in accordance with management objectives.
- Create Fire Adapted Communities: Human populations and infrastructure can withstand a wildfire without loss of life and property.
- Improve Wildfire Response: All jurisdictions participate in making and implementing safe, effective, efficient risk-based wildfire management decisions.
To apply, applicants must reach out to their state point of contact to get a unique link for final submission. Please review the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on the USDA Forest Service webpage for a list of contacts (featured on page 20).
- FY 2022 CWDG Western Region Application (PDF) (Note: PDF is for preparation purposes only; submissions are through the web portal. Contact the designated point of contact for your state for more information.)
- GIS instructions for application
- Measurable Outcomes Table
- Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) – Available on the USDA Forest Service CWDG Program Webpage
- Portal is now open
- Closes October 7, 2022 ALASKA will be accepting applications until 10/3/2022 Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program (CWDG) (alaska.gov)
- Scoring to occur in October and November
- Regional ranked list to be submitted to the USDA Forest Service Washington Office for integration into a final national list in November
*Note that dates are subject to change.
- Program Administrator Resource: PowerPoint Slides from August 1 & 3 webinars
- USDA Forest Service CWDG Program Webpage
- USDA’s Press Release Announcement
- National Association of State Foresters’ Press Release