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USDA Makes Grants Available to Help Rural Communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands Repair Water Infrastructure Damaged By Water Shortage and Unprecedented Sargassum Seagrass Influx in 2022

USDA Press
Washington, D.C.
Release Date

Gainesville, Fla., June 28, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands State Director Lakeisha Hood Moise today announced the availability of grants to help the U.S. Virgin Islands repair water infrastructure damaged by presidentially declared disasters, including the water shortage and the health impacts from the unprecedented sargassum seagrass influx in calendar year 2022. 

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good paying jobs and building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.   

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA stand ready to help people rebuild their lives and their communities,” Hood Moise said. “The assistance I'm announcing today will help make sure rural communities across this state who were impacted by natural disasters last year have the the resources they need to repair or rebuild their water infrastructure.  This funding is critical because we know that rural America is home to millions of people who make up America’s spirit and character.”

USDA is making over $247 million in grants available through supplemental disaster funding under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. Funds will remain available until expended.  

Eligible applicants include rurally located public bodies, and nonprofit organizations. 

Funds may be used to: 
•    repair damaged water infrastructure.  
•    develop resiliency to reduce long-term risks from future disasters. 

Funds may be used in the presidentially declared disaster areas of St. Croix Island.


Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted electronically through USDA’s application intake system, RD APPLY.

For more information on how to apply, contact the Rural Development State Office.
or visit www.rd.usda.gov/fl-vi


The Biden-Harris Administration made this funding possible through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. 

USDA expects to announce additional funding for presidentially declared disaster areas in the coming weeks.  

This additional funding will help eligible rural communities repair and rebuild essential community facilities. It will also help communities access technical assistance and training to identify and evaluate solutions to water and waste problems.  

Additional resources to support rural communities seeking disaster assistance are available at Rural Development Disaster Assistance.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov


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