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US ports receive nearly $30m in security grants

US port authorities received almost $30m in funding from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency's Port Security Grant Program, part of the total $100m awarded.

The funds went to 44 port authorities, along with numerous terminal operators, municipalities and policing entities, to further enhance the protection of critical port infrastructure from threats.

The Port Security Grant Program is one of seven grant program awards announced on July 16 under DHS’s preparedness grant programs to support state, local, tribal and territorial partners. The total allocation for 2021 preparedness grants was $475m, an increase over the $385m awarded in 2020.

Vital program

The American Association of Port Authorities welcomed the funding.

'The Port Security Grant Program is utilized by ports around the country to stay vigilant and continuously improve their security posture in light of ever-evolving threats. In our everyday lives we have felt the disruptive and dangerous impacts of the increase in cyber-attacks and ransomware situations around the world. This program is vital to protecting our workers and our supply chain,' AAPA Government Relations Manager Derek Miller said.

'We continue to urge Congress that the Port Security Grant Program is adequately funded and to increase the amount that goes directly to public port authorities. We thank Congress, FEMA and the entire Department of Homeland Security for their tireless work on behalf of America’s maritime gateways,' Miller continued.

He said ports are especially grateful to Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, a Democrat from California; Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee; Sen, Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia, who oversee the Port Security Grant Program funding.