This Week at Interior March 10, 2023


This Week at Interior 

The President’s Budget request for fiscal year 2024 was released this week. That proposal includes a total of $18.9 billion for Interior, an increase of $2 billion, or 12 percent over last year. It makes critical, targeted investments in the American people that will promote greater prosperity and economic growth for decades to come.  

Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen Cantor led Interior’s delegation this week at the Our Ocean Conference in Panama City, Panama. The conference emphasizes the connection between the world's oceans and the planet's climate. Interior manages more ocean and coastal resources than any other U. S. government agency. 

For the first time since 2019, members of the Invasive Species Advisory Committee gathered this week to discuss strategies to prevent, eradicate and control invasive species. Managed by the Department of the Interior, the committee has provided valuable input to the National Invasive Species Council since it was created in 1999. Invasive species cause an estimated $120 billion in environmental damages and losses annually in the United States. 

The Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced an investment of more than $120 million from the Inflation Reduction Act, to rebuild and restore units of the National Wildlife Refuge System and partnering State Wildlife Management Areas affected by adverse weather events. The funding prioritizes projects that promote coastal resilience and climate adaptation, address invasive species threats, and provide for additional data collection needed to support successful natural resource resilience. 

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton was on hand this week in California, as the Bureau celebrates 120 years of managing water in the West this year. The event also highlighted a $60 million award for the Coachella Valley Water District’s irrigation pipeline replacement project, from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The project builds on recent investments to protect the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River System. 

The Bureau of Land Management has approved the La Mesa Gen-Tie Project in Doña Ana County, southeast of Las Cruces in Anthony, New Mexico. The 4.7-mile power line will serve as an interconnection between the 20 megawatt La Mesa Solar Facility and the Anthony substation. The move advances President Biden’s goal of a zero-carbon electricity sector by 2035. 

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement this week announced $135 million in Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization grants for six Appalachian states and three Tribes. The funding will help address high priority abandoned mine land problems, including clogged streams, dangerous piles or embankments, dangerous highwalls, underground mine fires and polluted water. 

And our social media Picture of the Week comes from Midway Atoll Wildlife Refuge, where this Laysan albatross is enjoying a heartwarming moment with its chick. Albatross parents will take turns caring for their young, and when they’re not on parenting duty, they will search for food. 

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This Week: the President's Budget request for fiscal year 2024 includes $18.9 billion for Interior; a delegation from Interior attends the Our Ocean Conference in Panama City, Panama; an advisory committee on invasive species discusses prevention, eradication and control strategies; USFWS announces a $120 million investment to restore national wildlife refuges and partner areas affected by climate change; Reclamation celebrates 120 years of managing water in the west; the BLM approves a new power transmission line in New Mexico; $135 million in Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization grants are awarded to six Appalachian states and three Tribes; and our social media Picture of the Week is strictly for the birds!