Biden-Harris Administration Announces $10.5 Million to Improve Climate Resilience and Protect Fish and Wildlife Habitat in York, Cumberland, and Washington Counties

Grants awarded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support critical marsh preservation in Scarborough and Wells and culvert replacements to improve water flows and fish passage in Brunswick and Perry

Scarborough, MAINE – The Biden-Harris and Mills Administrations announced today, Earth Day, that the State has been awarded $10.5 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to support four critical climate resilience and wildlife protection projects in York, Cumberland, and Washington Counties.

The funded projects include $1.4 million for the resilient restoration of Scarborough Marsh to protect the marsh and improve public access; $4.49 million to replace aging infrastructure culverts in Brunswick and Perry to improve water flows and fish passage; and $2.87 million to construct a new bridge and restore and conserve 18 acres of vulnerable coastal marshland in Wells. 

An additional $1,775,000 has been awarded to Maine in non-competitive funding.

The awards to the State were part of $123 million awarded today to 30 projects by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. To announce the national awards, senior officials from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and NOAA, and U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree, joined state and local officials in Scarborough to announce the marsh restoration project.

“America’s coastal communities are on the frontlines of climate change—and we can tap into the power of nature to deal with sea level rise, storms, and erosion,” said Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House office of Science and Technology Policy Arati Prabhakar. “Through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, we are taking historic action to meet the climate crisis and build a more resilient future for all.”

"These transformational projects will not only bolster community resilience, but also ensure that innovations are fairly and broadly accessible,” said Jainey K. Bavishi, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator. “This significant increase in resources from NOAA will be essential in helping to build local infrastructure that is climate resilient, while providing essential benefits to businesses.”

“The recent severe storms have been a wake-up call about how vulnerable Maine communities are to effects of climate change, and how critical investments in resiliency are needed to protect our vulnerable areas, especially along the coast,” said Hannah Pingree, Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future and co-chair of the Maine Climate Council.  “These awards through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help protect vulnerable coastal areas in four Maine communities and improve their resilience to climate impacts like extreme storms and sea level rise. We deeply appreciate the efforts of the Biden Administration and NOAA to support these vital projects.”  

“This funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a much-needed investment in the resiliency of Maine’s sea-run fisheries and critically important coastal habitat, both of which are especially susceptible to the impacts of a changing climate,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher. “I’m grateful to the Biden Administration and NOAA for helping Maine take important steps to protect these valuable natural resources.”

“Scarborough Marsh is one of Maine’s most significant coastal ecosystems. It is crucial habitat for several endangered or threatened animal and plant species, it acts as a nursery for many species of fish and shellfish making it economically important, and its tributaries are vital water sources feeding the Marsh and Saco Bay,” said Andrew Mackie, Executive Director, Scarborough Land Trust. “Unfortunately, climate-linked sea level rise and flooding are presenting an urgent threat to life in and around the Marsh, as well as property and infrastructure. We are proud to lead this innovative partnership of 15 government offices and non-profit organizations focused on establishing a framework of information and projects to solve complex problems like these—here in Scarborough and perhaps beyond.”

“The Town of Perry is pleased and excited with the passage of funding for the Corbett Brook culvert replacement project,” said Ann Bellefleur, Chair of the Perry Board of Selectmen.  “The funding will improve access to habitats for sea-run fish and help improve our aging culvert infrastructure that is a burden on our municipal budget.  We look forward to working with the State of Maine on this valuable project."

“The Town of Brunswick is pleased to partner with state and federal allies in upgrading the town's undersized tidal inlet road culverts,” said Daniel Devereaux, Brunswick Coastal Resources Manager. “In doing so we bolster transportation resilience and unlock vital ecological benefits. NOAA funded projects like the Coombs Road culvert replacement not only prevent floodwater backup and spill over onto private property, but also restore dynamic marine habitats and help to increase migration paths crucial for a range of different marine species. We look forward to the work ahead of us.”  

“The Drakes Island project represents the best of what the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has to offer Maine and the nation: It will construct a new bridge that will withstand future rising seas and storms, develop a plan to restore tidal habitats for a range of wildlife species, and protect a beautiful keystone parcel that connects to a landscape of conservation lands in one of Maine’s fastest growing communities,” said Paul Dest, Executive Director of the Wells Reserve.

In April 2022, Governor Mills signed an executive order directing her Administration to coordinate BIL implementation among the State, cities, towns, tribal governments, and other entities in Maine to maximize opportunities for Maine.

To date, over $2.2 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) has been awarded to support more than 300 specific projects in Maine. To view an interactive map of BIL projects across Maine, please visit