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A Voice for our Ocean

STATEMENT: Historic $3 billion dollar investment has the potential to be transformative for the health of ports communities and ocean

Announcement of funding from EPA is a critical step towards decarbonizing US ports - but there is still more to be done.

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Cargo loading cranes at shipping port
Cargo loading cranes at the Sea Girt and Dundalk Marine Terminals along the northeast shore of the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River towards the Inner Harbor and downtown Baltimore

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Biden administration announced $3 billion dollars in funding for the EPA’s Clean Ports Program. Ocean Conservancy was a vocal advocate in support of the inclusion of this historic funding through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Kathy Tsantiris, Ocean Conservancy’s director of government relations, issued the following statement in response:

“Today’s announcement of $3 billion dollars in funding for the Clean Port’s Program is a historic opportunity to decarbonize ports, protect our ocean, and improve the health of the over 13 million people living in portside communities.

“To achieve our climate goals, we know we need to transition the shipping industry to a clean energy future, and decarbonizing ports is a huge part of this. Global shipping emissions are responsible for roughly 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions; and for too long, ports have slipped between the regulatory cracks, resulting in pollution going unchecked.

“Portside communities have long borne the brunt of the emissions generated by the shipping industry. Ports are often located in working-class communities of color, where their impacts can result in devastating health and economic impacts: it’s estimated that globally 250,000 premature deaths and six million childhood asthma cases are caused by pollution from the shipping industry each year.

“We look forward to working with the EPA and groups working on the ground to ensure that these funds are used effectively to maximize port pollution reductions, and hope to see this spur further investment in green ports. For the sake of our ocean and our communities, there’s no time to waste.”


Two Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) were announced:

  • The Zero-Emission Technology Deployment Competition, which will fund the deployment of strategies and solutions that will help ports achieve zero-emission operations. This includes zero-emission equipment, technologies, and related infrastructure and expenses related to deployment. 
    • $2.79 Billion will be available for this Competition.
  • Climate and Air Quality Planning Competition, which will fund climate and air quality planning activities focused on one or more ports. Including emissions inventory and accounting exercises, strategy analysis and goal setting, stakeholder collaboration and communication, and resilience planning.
    •  $150 million will be available for this Competition.
  • The Clean Ports Program programmatic priorities for these NOFOs include:
    • Environmental Justice and Disadvantaged Communities
    • Port Transformation and Pollution Reduction
    • Nonattainment Areas
  • Applications are due Tuesday, May 28, 2024 and anticipated notification of selection will be made in September 2024, with anticipated awards in December 2024.

Ocean Conservancy experts are available for comment.

Read more about Ocean Conservancy’s ports and communities work here.

Media Contact:

Madeline Black [email protected]


About Ocean Conservancy 

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, X (Formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram.

Media Contact

Madeline Black




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