Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Program

Notice of Funding Opportunity: Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Program

Posted: April 21, 2023

Closing Date for Applications: August 18, 2023

Total Program Funding: $848,000,000

Award Floor: $100,000

The PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program provides broad applicant eligibility for all levels of government to be direct recipients of funds. States, MPOs, local governments, and Indian Tribes can apply directly to FHWA. A Federal land management agency may be eligible if the agency applies jointly with a State or group of States. (See Section C for a complete list of eligible entities). FHWA encourages all eligible entities regardless of size, location, and experience administering Federal funding awards to apply for Federal assistance for Planning Grants and Resilience Grants under this NOFO.

The vision of the PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program is to fund projects that address the climate crisis by improving the resilience of the surface transportation system, including highways, public transportation, ports, and intercity passenger rail. Projects selected under this program should be grounded in the best available scientific understanding of climate change risks, impacts, and vulnerabilities. They should support the continued operation or rapid recovery of crucial local, regional, or national surface transportation facilities. Furthermore, selected projects should utilize innovative and collaborative approaches to risk reduction, including the use of natural infrastructure, which is explicitly eligible under the program. Also called nature-based solutions, these strategies include conservation, restoration, or construction of riparian and streambed treatments, marshes, wetlands, native vegetation, stormwater bioswales, breakwaters, reefs, dunes, and shade trees. They reduce flood risks, erosion, wave damage, and heat impacts while also creating habitat, filtering pollutants, and providing recreational benefits. Projects in the PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program have the potential to demonstrate innovation and best practices that State and local governments in other parts of the country can consider replicating.

By funding projects that improve resilience to natural hazards and climate change impacts, the PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program aims to reduce damage and disruption to the transportation system, improve the safety of the traveling public, and improve equity by addressing the needs of disadvantaged populations that are often the most vulnerable to hazards. FHWA will seek to award projects to communities that demonstrate a strong need for the funding; the program includes set asides for rural communities and Indian Tribes.

Funding for the PROTECT Discretionary Grants Program comes from two sources: 1) funding authorized as contract authority from the Highway Trust Fund, and 2) funding appropriated from the General Fund in annual appropriations acts. Funding authorized from the Highway Trust Fund is reduced based on the imposition of the obligation limitation contained in the annual appropriations acts. The BIL authorized $250 million annually from the Highway Trust Fund for FY 2022 and FY 2023. An additional $400 million was appropriated in FY 2022 and FY 2023 as shown in detail in Section B. Currently, $300 million is authorized annually for FYs 2024, 2025, and 2026.

Virtual meetings for the NOFO will be held:
Monday, May 8, 2023 from 1-2 PM
Registration Link:

Thursday, May 11, 2023 from 1-2 PM
Registration Link:


For more information, please visit: