Interior doles out record $120M for tribal climate resilience

By Michael Doyle | 03/14/2024 01:40 PM EDT

But the agency’s own studies show the need will be far greater.

FILE - Interior Secretary Deb Haaland testifies on President Joe Biden's budget request for 2024 at the Capitol in Washington, May 2, 2023. Republican members of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources are raising concerns about ties between Haaland and an Indigenous group from her home state that advocates for halting oil and gas production on public lands. The members on Monday, June 5, sent a letter to Haaland requesting documents related to her interactions with Pueblo Action Alliance as well as her daughter, Somah, who has worked with the group and has rallied against fossil fuel development. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland testifying on May 2, 2023, at the Capitol in Washington. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A new round of Interior Department grants to boost tribal climate resilience set a record Thursday while still falling far short of what officials acknowledge will be needed in the long run.

Tapping several different funding sources, Interior announced it is distributing a total of more than $120 million in climate resilience grants to 102 tribes and nine tribal organizations. The department called it the most ever awarded under the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ annual climate awards program.

“As these communities face the increasing threat of rising seas, coastal erosion, storm surges, raging wildfires and devastation from other extreme weather events, our focus must be on bolstering climate resilience, addressing this reality with the urgency it demands,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland told reporters at a briefing Wednesday.


The grants cover work in myriad areas, from drought mitigation and planning to training workshops and mapping. Some grants address community relocation, the most dramatic — and by far the most expensive — of the climate-response options.