U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced April 15 that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3 million grant to the town of Damariscotta, Maine, to make flood protection and infrastructure improvements to the downtown waterfront area. The EDA grant, to be matched with more than $1 million in local investment, is expected to retain 340 jobs.
“The Trump Administration is working hard to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and improve economic resilience in the wake of natural disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These investments in the town of Damariscotta will support the new flood prevention infrastructure needed to protect business and attract additional private investment to the region.”
“This project will support business continuity efforts in Damariscotta by making waterfront flood protection and other infrastructure improvements,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “By raising and paving parking lots, installing a retaining wall, stabilizing the shoreline, and improving drainage, businesses will be able to stay open during floods, maintain their workforce, and grow the tourism sector.”
“Damariscotta is a vibrant and historic town, which is home to many successful small businesses and a booming tourism industry,” said Senators Susan Collins and Angus King in a joint statement. “Major storm surges have the potential to drastically disrupt both the local economy and the region’s way of life, and this funding will help ensure that this community is prepared to weather these events. We welcome this funding to upgrade Damariscotta’s local infrastructure, improve economic and coastal resiliency, and protect the region from future natural disasters and storms.”
“The climate crisis will spur increased natural disasters like flooding across our country,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01). “In Maine, towns like Damariscotta will see an increase in coastal flooding because of climate change. The federal government must step up and prepare our coastal communities in the face of increased threats. This $3 million grant from EDA will increase Damariscotta’s resiliency and protect a community that relies on its relationship with the sea. I’m looking forward to seeing this grant in action and I thank EDA for investing in our community.”
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.