Breaking News
More () »

Several western Washington tribes will receive federal funding to prepare for flooding, heat waves

Over $10 million in funding from President Biden's infrastructure bill will go to tribes in western Washington.

WASHINGTON, USA — Five tribes in western Washington will receive federal funding to help them prepare for the impacts of climate change, like floods and heat waves.

The funding will come from President Biden's infrastructure bill. Western Washington tribes will receive nearly a quarter of the $45 million awarded to tribes across the county.

The funds will support tribal organizations in adaptation planning, climate implementation actions, ocean and coastal management planning, capacity building, relocation, managed retreat and protect-in-place planning for climate risks.

The Port Gamble S'Klallam is getting over $2 million to relocate people who live along the water to new homes on higher ground. The Makah Indian Tribe will receive $2 million to move a health center above sea level. 

The Tulalip Tribes of Washington will get more than $1.7 million and the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe will get over $1 million to prepare for extreme heat, drought and flooding conditions.

The Quinault Indian Nation already has plans to build another 150 homes on higher ground about a half-mile from the beach, which is enough for all the families and the estimated 660 residents who currently live near the beach.

RELATED: Quinault Indian Nation's coastal residents moving to higher ground

“The relocation project is vital to our existence here,” said Ryan Hendricks, who is heading up the construction of 59 homes in the hills above the coastal village. 

Tsunami risks have always been a concern, said Hendricks, but recently, winter storms have brought flood waters to the village, despite a seawall between the beach and homes.

The Quinault Indian Nation used $10 million of the tribe’s funds to build the Generations Building on higher ground last year.

It houses a child care center, a senior facility and space that can be used as a potential tsunami shelter.

Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan is going towards infrastructure for the new housing development.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a total of $466 million to the Bureau of Indian Affairs over five years, including $216 million for climate resilience programs. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out