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News Release
FOR RELEASE - July 1, 2020
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 254-7098

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

Over 30 U.S. Port Authorities Receive Awards in 2020 Port Security Grant Program

Port security grants used by ports, terminal operators, municipalities, policing entities to protect critical port infrastructure from threats

On June 30, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced fiscal year 2020 final allocations of $385 million for seven competitive preparedness grant programs to support state, local, tribal and territorial partners.  Among the seven is the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), which this year is providing $100 million to over 30 U.S. port authorities, along with numerous terminal operators, municipalities and policing entities, to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or reestablish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.

According to FEMA, the agency gave priority consideration for projects that enhance protection of soft targets/crowded places; enhance weapons of mass destruction and improvised explosive device prevention, detection, response and recovery capabilities; enhance cybersecurity; and address emergent threats, such as unmanned aerial systems.

The following is a statement by American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Government Relations Director and General Counsel Cary Davis on the value and importance of these grants to ports:

“The Port Security Grant Program protects our country, our workers, and our supply chains.  Ports large and small use these grants to stay vigilant, to ‘harden’ their facilities and networks, and to prepare for attacks.  Even though it’s grotesque and difficult, critical infrastructure ports are targeted daily by terrorists around the world.

Our understanding about what threats look like are evolving, and the PSGP is evolving, too.  Whether it’s attempted supply chain disruption, sophisticated and coordinated cross-border attacks, or novel cyber threats that transcend national borders, ports have security challenges like never before.

AAPA is proud to fight tooth-and-nail for this program in light of proposed cuts.

We thank Congress, FEMA, and the entire Department of Homeland Security for their tireless work on behalf of America’s maritime gateways. 

Ports support communities all across the entire United States, so our champions in Congress reflect that diversity.  But ports are especially grateful for Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), who oversee the Port Security Grant Program.  Lastly, we thank Congressman Peter King (R-NY), who has been a champion for port security for decades, and we wish him the best in his coming retirement.”

About AAPA
Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 200 industry solution providers and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. Cargo activities at U.S. seaports support nearly $31 million American jobs and account for 26 percent of the U.S. economy, generating nearly $5.4 trillion in total economic activity and more than $378 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2018. To meet the growing demand for trade, AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable. For more information, visit On Twitter:

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