PALMETTO, Fla. — Port Manatee has been awarded a $326,250 federal security grant to be used in efforts to support the port’s recovery and resiliency capabilities.
The funding, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Port Security Grant Program, was announced July 30 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The federal funds, matched with $108,750 that is the port’s cost-sharing responsibility, are to be used for portable generator units and their integration to critical buildings at Port Manatee, according to David St. Pierre, the port’s director of seaport security.
“These generator units will allow Port Manatee to swiftly restore operations following an emergency event — such as a major hurricane or terrorist incident — that results in loss of the port’s normal power supply,” St. Pierre said. “We are greatly appreciative to receive this funding, which further bolsters our recovery and resiliency capabilities.”
Port Manatee has advanced approximately $10 million in security-related projects over the past 10 years, including its Transportation Worker Identification Credential-based access control system, which fully meets DHS requirements. Port Manatee is one of a handful of U.S. ports that has completely implemented the federally mandated electronic verification requirements of the TWIC program, including biometric reading.
Port Manatee is a full-service, multipurpose deepwater seaport with ten 40-foot-draft berths at the entrance to the Tampa Bay, serving bulk, breakbulk, container, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.