President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda Announces $20 Million to Bolster Climate Resilience for Native Hawaiian Community

New Kapapahuliau Climate Resilience Program will help enhance climate change mitigation efforts for Native Hawaiian Community

Announcement comes as Biden-Harris administration releases the Fifth National Climate Assessment

Last edited 11/14/2023

Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2023


WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced the availability of $20 million in funding through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to strengthen climate resilience in the Native Hawaiian Community. The announcement comes alongside the release of the Fifth National Climate Assessment, a congressionally mandated report assessing the science of climate change in the United States, its impacts, and options for reducing present and future risk.

The funding will support the Department’s Office of Native Hawaiian Relations’ (ONHR) new Kapapahuliau Climate Resilience Program, which will provide Native Hawaiian Organizations with resources to cope with impacts of climate change, including the repair and recovery of structures and cultural sites; improvement of climate resilience measures; and maintenance of the integrity and identity of the Native Hawaiian people while enhancing the capacity of the Native Hawaiian Community for climate adaptation.

“Hawaiʻi is on the frontlines of some of climate change’s most damaging effects,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are making transformational commitments to assist the Native Hawaiian Community in planning for and implementing climate resilience measures, and safeguarding Hawaiʻi for generations to come.”

In Hawaiʻi, sea level rise and ocean acidification have resulted in coastal flooding, erosion, and coral bleaching, causing negative impacts to nearshore fisheries, coastal communities, and traditional Native Hawaiian practices like cultivation and fishpond maintenance. Increased temperatures have also led to loss of native bird species as well as extreme weather events that have caused fires and extensive flood damage to homes, businesses, roads and agricultural lands.

Today’s announcement is funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, part of President Biden's Investing in America agenda. Through the agenda and the President’s “Bidenomics” strategy, the Biden-Harris administration is deploying record investments to provide affordable high-speed internet, safer roads and bridges, modern wastewater and sanitation systems, clean drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity, and good paying jobs in communities across the country. 

The name of the new program, Kapapahuliau, seeks to provide the imagery and foundation (papa) of a voyaging canoe (waʻa) and crew experiencing the changes (huli) in wind and currents over time (au), and adjusting sails or direction accordingly while maintaining a course to the targeted destination. To learn more about the program and the funding opportunity, which will be available on November 15, visit ONHR’s Native Hawaiian climate resilience webpage.


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