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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

$16.6 million federal injection to target infrastructure, coastal monitoring

The Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System, which operates out of the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus, will receive close to $1.2 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

By The Star Staff

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón, detailed Wednesday the new allocations of federal funds for Puerto Rico that total more than $16.6 million.

These funds will help with the development of infrastructure works such as improvements and reconstruction of buildings, bridges, roads and the electrical system, as well as better scientific monitoring of the island’s coasts.

The Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System of the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus will receive nearly $1.167 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which the resident commissioner endorsed as a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Funding will be awarded over two years ($582,000 in year one and $587,000 in year two).

The goal of the funds is to support and replace aging observation infrastructure, expand observation capabilities, and monitor water quality in support of ongoing and planned coastal barrier restoration initiatives that are funded by the federal government following Hurricane Maria. The upgrades will also meet maritime sector requirements, including so-called port practices, as needed to maintain critical port vessel traffic in challenging weather conditions, even after extreme weather events.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, meanwhile, approved federal allocations for reconstruction projects related to Hurricane Maria.

The Municipality of Utuado will receive $1,344,080.75 for work on bridges and highways in the Roncador neighborhood, the Municipality of Moca will receive $1,241,125.16 for work on roads and bridges, and for the same purpose the Municipality of Las Piedras will receive $2,953,523.23.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority was approved for over $3.6 million for distribution of public lighting in San Germán, and the Ponce Campus of Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico will receive two assignments, one of $5,039,010.37 and another of $1,287,359.67 for work in several of its buildings.

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