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GAO’s Heather MacLeod: USCG Needs to Address Shore Resiliency Backlog

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Heather MacLeod, the Government Accountability Office’s acting director for homeland security and justice, said the U.S. Coast Guard is not investing enough funds in resiliency, Federal News Network reported Tuesday.

She said USCG’s shore infrastructure has exceeded its expected service life and is causing an expensive backlog of maintenance and recapitalization projects.

Macleod made these statements in response to Vice Adm. Paul Thomas, USCG’s deputy commandant for mission support, during a House hearing.

Thomas told Congress USCG is investing a significant amount in workforce and resiliency from almost $2 billion in shore infrastructure funds the service has received since 2018.

Macleod said USCG’s combined backlog cost for shore infrastructure projects is now over $2.6 billion.

The USCG deputy commandant said his service branch is now conducting resiliency assessments to address the backlog, in preparation for succeeding engineering work.

“When we do recapitalize our infrastructure, we do it to the latest standards for both sea-level rise and flooding, etc. So when we have a chance to build new, we’re building resilient,” Thomas stated.

If you are interested in U.S. climate resiliency, check out GovConWire’s “Climate Resilience: Reducing Risk and Creating Opportunities Fireside Chat” event on Nov. 18,  Thursday.