Installation of security cameras at the North Gate access control complex is among efforts proceeding at Port Manatee with a boost from federal grant funding.

Installation of security cameras at the North Gate access control complex is among efforts proceeding at Port Manatee with a boost from federal grant funding.

Image: Staff

Port Manatee is receiving more than $1 million in federal grant funding to bolster protection against cyber threats, upgrade the port’s wireless security network and complete a perimeter fencing project.

The fiscal 2021 allocation of $1,055,843 under the Port Security Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency brings to more than $14 million the total federal security grant support received by Manatee County’s seaport since 2005, according to David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of public safety and security.

The most recent federal award, supplemented by a port match of $351,947 to cover 25 percent of total costs, enables advancement of three projects: a comprehensive cybersecurity risk assessment and mitigation measures to ensure integrity of the port’s computer systems, fortifying them against potential attack; enhancements to the port’s wireless security network, including cameras and access control infrastructure; and completion of a project to provide 3 1/2 miles of fencing along the perimeter of port property.

In addition, Port Manatee and its users expect to benefit from another fiscal 2021 federal port security grant—providing Manatee County’s North River Fire District with $73,237—supporting fireboat protection in waters off the port.

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