The Tampa Port Authority (TPA) has announced that it has been awarded $792,645 in the 2013 round of funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program (PSGP). The port authority was one of four entities in the Tampa Bay region to be selected recipients of a total grant program allocation of $93.2 million.

The federal grant program continues to be very valuable for U.S. ports, which serve as partners with the Department of Homeland Security to harden security and protection.

With the PSGP funding, the port authority’s plans are to replace an older modular security structure with a permanent structure designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and flooding.  The new structure will allow the port to better manage re-establishment of services after a significant weather event.  Also, the TPA plans to purchase equipment to better manage incidents that occur in port areas where there is limited access to TPA-owned buildings or facilities.

“This funding is of critical importance to the Port of Tampa, one of the nation’s largest and most diverse ports,” said Paul Anderson, port president and CEO. “We are extremely grateful to be recognized by the Department of Homeland Security through this grant process that will enable us to make significant enhancements, allowing the port authority to further strengthen its commitment to the safety and security of the port, its stakeholders and the community.”

One of the nation’s largest and most cargo-diverse seaports, the Port of Tampa is the largest economic engine in west-central Florida, supporting about 80,000 jobs and generating $15.1 billion in annual economic impact.