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Puerto Rico/US Virgin Islands

September 20, 2021 - Four years after the devastation caused by Hurricanes Maria and Irma, EDA continues to support the recovery of Puerto Rico and the USVI.

August 4-6, 2021, EDA and the PR ERSF helped to support the BlueTide Caribbean Summit to grow Puerto Rico’s marine and ocean economy. Read about PR’s work to build its competitive advantage in commercial and conservational activities.

EDA has been active in PR and the USVI since late 2017/early 2018, after the landfall of 2 catastrophic hurricanes, which crippled the Island to an unprecedented level of devastation, making it the nation’s most logistically complex response in FEMA history. Thus far, EDA has invested over $134M in 31 projects aimed to advance Puerto Rico’s economic recovery. Click here for more:

More than 16,500 federal employees and 74 voluntary agencies were activated to help Puerto Rico build back better from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The ERSF helped direct FEMA assistance to advance economic and workforce recovery in multiple areas, for example, in agriculture, coordinated critical stakeholders to ensure Gargiulo Farms had power in time to process and ship its tomato harvest, saving over 800 jobs. Supported capacity development needs with local partners labF3S www.sinfinespr.org “Grant Writing Workshops”, coordinated with BEA to support Puerto Rico in enhancing its national accounting methods, effectively aligned the US Caribbean (PR and USVI) as a region though signing an MOU between the University of Puerto Rico and the University of Virgin Islands. Built the foundation of an emerging economic opportunity for the territories through the Blue Economy “Bluetide Initiative” and has been supporting the development of the first Economic Development District designation package from PR to EDA, 100% remote and 100% in Spanish.


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Homes damaged by record-breaking wind speeds in Louisiana from Hurricane Laura.
Photo courtesy of FEMA.gov.

Hurricanes Laura and Delta hit Louisiana with record-breaking strength during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, making for a uniquely challenging mission. EDA virtually deployed to lead the ERSF on November 1st for five months, with USDA and other federal partners. EDA convened a “Federal Interagency Resource Exchange” to learn more about the area’s significant economic recovery needs and to introduce local communities to federal resources and outside experts on issues such as rural broadband, disaster philanthropy, tourism, disaster resilience and agriculture. As a result, nearly 100 participants were engaged in problem-solving discussions and breakout groups on numerous programs, representing billions in potential funding.


EDA invested in a green infrastructure project in San Diego to reduce flooding to commercial enterprises and airport access routes. The project includes innovative upstream improvements to reduce runoff and debris deposited into the city’s stormwater infrastructure, while enhancing passive outdoor recreation and economic development opportunities for the region. [Read more]

To facilitate Butte County’s recovery from the 2018 Camp Wildfire, EDA partnered with 3CORE, a local Economic Development District. Together, they were able to provide emergency and gap financing to small businesses, secure several grants to plan and update transportation infrastructure, and host workshops informing partners on the granting process. That partnership is expected to result in the retainment or creation of nearly 1,000 jobs, and the generation of $32 million in private investment in Butte County alone.


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Encore 2 is one of the businesses that was facing reoccurring flooding in Moberly, MO before an EDA investment.

EDA invested $4.8 million in grant funding enabling the city of Moberly, MO improve water infrastructure. Businesses in downtown Moberly were previously struggling with recurring flooding, which discouraged investment. The grant will help the city attract investment and revitalize the downtown area.


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EDA created regionally-specific workshops for recovery coordination.

EDA facilitated a series of workshops to help 8 coastal Texas regions recover from Hurricane Harvey in 2018. The turnout, described as “fantastic”, included a broad variety of community stakeholders, that came to rely on EDA’s expertise. EDA convened the entire spectrum of Federal partners, and ensured the workshop emphasized resilience, face-to-face interactions and practical solutions to local problems. These workshops served more than 300 community leaders, sharing information on programs totaling $6.4 billion in funding.

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