By Sareth Neak, President & Publisher, Maritime Security Outlook
I’ve just reached out to the FEMA Grant Office to get an update on the Port Security Grant Program and as I expected, they don’t have any information yet on 2017 and can’t disclose of when the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) will be released. The word on the street is that it will be coming out very soon (next few weeks) and the amount of total funding will be around $100 million (same as the last two years).
For those of you who have not taken advantage of this program or don’t have the knowledge about how to access the grant, I’m writing this article to help you better understand it. For those of you who are already involved and have gotten money in the past, you can stop reading and move on with your day.
If you don’t already know, most of (75% or better) of the police boats, sonar equipment, cameras, radars and other security tools used in the port and marine environment today in the U.S. were funded by the Port Security Grant Program with a few funded by other grants such as Stone Garden or UASI (Urban Area Security Initiative).
Without going through the details, I’m providing you with the following documents that can answer most of your questions. These are easy to find if you know where to look.
- The 2016 Port Security Grant Program Fact Sheet. Tell you all you need to know about the last round of funding.
- The 2016 Port Security Grant Program FAQ.
- The MTSA 46 U.S. Code § 70103 - Maritime transportation security plans. What the AMSC (Area Maritime Security Committee) and the Port Security Grant Program is based on.