Secretary Haaland Highlights Typhoon Recovery, Habitat Investments in Visit to Guam

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda investing in climate resilience, ecosystem restoration

Last edited 07/24/2023

Date: Monday, July 24, 2023


HAGÅTÑA, GUAM — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland visited the U.S. territory of Guam this weekend as part of a weeklong visit to the Pacific Islands. She affirmed the Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing support for Guam, an important U.S. commercial and economic hub in the Western Pacific, especially as the island continues to recover from the impacts of Typhoon Mawar.

Secretary Haaland, Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor, and Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison Erika L. Moritsugu met with Guam Governor Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero and Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio to discuss the island’s ongoing recovery from the typhoon, as well as the importance of Compact Impact financial assistance for the U.S. territories.

Secretary Haaland also announced $2,499,896 in Office of Insular Affairs Technical Assistance Program grant funds to support several priority projects for Guam, including:

  • $500,000 to the Office of Technology for a Cybersecurity Resilience project;
  • $481,544 to Guam Community College for the Truck Drivers Move the Economy project;
  • $296,500 to Guam Waterworks Authority for operations and maintenance training;
  • $289,648 to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation for an assessment of current and projected sediment loading and streamflow in Guam’s Ugum River;
  • $280,000 to Guam’s Department of Agriculture for the Pacific Region Ocean Aquaculture Alliance - Stage 1: Guam Aquaculture Quarantine & Testing Facility project;
  • $250,000 to Mañe'lu, a non-profit organization, to support at-risk youth populations under the Fanhåle’ (to take roots in Chamorro) project;
  • $199,929 to the University of Guam for maintenance and upgrade of the Water and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific Water Quality Laboratory;
  • $126,275 to the Guam Department of Corrections for a video surveillance system to enhance monitoring of its exterior perimeters; and
  • $76,000 to Guam’s Office of Public Accountability for training.

While in Guam, Secretary Haaland visited the War in the Pacific National Historical Park, which was established to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of those participating in the campaigns of the Pacific Theater of World War II and to conserve and interpret outstanding natural, scenic and historic values and objects of the island of Guam. She also visited the U.S. Geological Survey’s Brown Treesnake Laboratory, where she heard about the USGS’s efforts to contain, control, and detect the invasive Brown Treesnakes on Guam, which has had significant adverse impacts on the island’s biodiversity. Throughout the trip, Secretary Haaland met with staff from the Department’s National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, and Office of Insular Affairs.

Secretary Haaland also highlighted how President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is making significant investments in climate resilience and ecosystem restoration in Guam. Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Department is investing $2.7 million to the Government of Guam for several climate resilience projects, including to study the Hågatña River for solutions to mitigate flooding and damage within the identified 100-year flood zone and to stabilize the Umatac and Ñamo Rivers through pre-storm cleaning and maintenance to control flooding in the southern villages of Santa Rita, Agat and Umatac while also protecting coral reefs offshore. The Department has also awarded $167,815 through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to the University of Guam for the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Pesticide Tree Injection Program to support ports of entry to prevent the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle from spreading on Guam and throughout the region.

The Department has made another $5.5 million available to the U.S. Territories, including Guam, to provide domestic water supplies to households that do not have potable water. To date, $145.5 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has been provided across the administration to Guam.


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