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Port Security Grant Program (PSGP)

An aerial view of an urban port.

Status of FY 2009 Grants

FY 2009 grant awards totaling $388.6 million were announced on April 8, 2009.

Next Grant Round

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) appropriated $150 million for the Port Security Grant Program. The application period ran May 29 – June 29, 2009, with reviews following from July 13 – August 12. Awards will be made no later than September 30, 2009.

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Background of Program

Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. Congress has appropriated over $2 billion for competitive grants to U.S. seaports to finance the cost of enhancing national port security. The purpose of the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) is to help defray the costs of implementing the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA), which created new statutory requirements in port and vessel security. When it implemented the new MTSA regulations in July 2003, the U.S. Coast Guard estimated the private sector costs of compliance to be $6.8 billion over 10 years: $5.4 billion for port facility security and $1.4 billion for vessel security. The grant program is structured to be a shared responsibility between the federal government and the private sector, with applicants required to pay 25-50 percent of projects’ costs. This partnership between federal and private interests is crucial to make the U.S. more secure.

Port Security Grant Program partners include the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration and several agencies in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS): the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), which administers the PSGP; the U.S. Coast Guard; and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The Maritime Administration has played a key role in the grant program since its inception in 2002. It is the only non-DHS agency involved in the program. Unlike its partner agencies, the Maritime Administration brings a commercial viewpoint to the application review and approval process. It also is the principal federal agency in the process that considers the impact of security measures on commerce. The Maritime Administration’s regional offices and headquarters have been actively involved in the grant program, reviewing and rank ordering applications and recommending funding levels and making policy recommendations.

Examples of Projects Funded
Since 2002, the program has evolved from awarding projects to individual terminals to port-wide planning and coordination (moving toward regional planning). Port-wide risk management and mitigation planning now is emphasized. Examples of past projects follow:

  • TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential)
  • Chemical/biological/radiological agent detection sensors
  • Cameras
  • Boats
  • Lighting
  • Fencing
  • Intrusion detection
  • Communications equipment
  • Canines
  • Explosive agent detection sensors
  • Gates
  • Employee identification
  • Floating barriers
  • Underwater sensors
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2018