FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ike Umunnah
Thursday, August 12, 2021 IUmunnah@eda.gov
U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $5.1 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Improve Marine Cargo Infrastructure in Hoonah, Alaska
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $5.1 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the city of Hoonah, Alaska, to make critical infrastructure improvements to the Hoonah Marine Industrial Center Cargo Dock. This EDA grant is expected to create or retain nearly 270 jobs and generate $66.1 million in private investment.
“President Biden is committed to helping the U.S. travel and tourism industries, which have been disproportionately affected by the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in the Hoonah Marine Industrial Center Cargo Dock will provide vital assistance to Hoonah’s tourism infrastructure by supporting freight and goods distribution for the cruise ship industry, fuel delivery, fishing, and other commercial operations within the community.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will upgrade an existing gravel loading ramp that is only accessible during high tides with the installation of a 130-foot long sheet pile bulkhead cargo dock, three steel pipe pile breasting dolphins, an 80-foot long elevated catwalk, and other improvements.”
“Hoonah is a prime example of a community in Alaska that relies on maritime infrastructure for trade, tourism, travel, and more,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “This grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) will improve the Hoonah Marine Industrial Center Cargo Dock, retain and create new jobs in the community, and generate millions in private investments. COVID brought immense challenges to many Alaskan communities. I’m optimistic that this support from the EDA will not only help Alaskans get back on their feet, but will also make a difference for future generations.”
“This EDA grant represents federal investment at its best – focusing on a locally-supported project that will expand access and economic opportunities for hard-working Alaskans,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “This project at the Hoonah port is especially important given the community’s lack of connection to the road system and dependence on marine infrastructure, like so many of Alaska’s coastal towns. I look forward to seeing the new opportunities in freight, fishing, tourism and transportation that will support the people of Hoonah as a result of this critical investment.”
“Safe, reliable infrastructure is critical to Alaska’s economy,” said Congressman Don Young (AK-01). “This is especially true as we work to overcome the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I am very pleased that the EDA is investing in the Hoonah Marine Industrial Center Cargo Dock. This CARES Act grant will provide critical assistance to many sectors, including tourism, seafood, and countless other operations that utilize Hoonah’s marine infrastructure. Getting these industries back onto solid footing will require tremendous collaboration and innovation, but I know that Alaskans will put this funding to good use and get it done. As discussions over economic recovery and infrastructure continue, I will continue working with my colleagues and with the Administration to ensure that Alaska comes back from this pandemic stronger than ever.”
This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov) The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.