WASHINGTON (December 10, 2019) – The US House of Representatives voted to invest in coastal resilience today with the passage of the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act. The legislation, consolidating ten bills including H.R. 729, H.R. 3115, H.R. 3596, H.R. 2185, H.R. 3541, H.R. 1747, H.R. 1023, H.R. 2189, H.R. 1314, and H.R. 2405, will help coastal states and communities prepare for impacts from flooding, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and changing weather conditions. Included in the bill is much needed financial assistance to help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change on all of our coasts.
“This bill will help communities implement natural infrastructure solutions that will build coastal resilience and deliver important environmental benefits to birds, wildlife, and their habitats,” said Karen Hyun, vice president for coastal conservation, National Audubon Society. “By making these investments Congress will save taxpayer dollars by avoiding disaster-related expenditures, enhancing public safety, and providing environmental benefits.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population lives in coastal areas, which face increasing threats from rising seas, erosion, and storm hazards. In addition to the effects of more extreme weather events, sea level rise is also increasing the number of days coastal communities are experiencing costly “nuisance” or “sunny day” flooding. NOAA estimates that some communities have seen a 300 percent to more than 900 percent increase in nuisance flooding over the last 50 years and that 170 coastal communities across the U.S. will be affected by nuisance flooding more than 26 times per year by 2035 (an increase from just 2.1 days per year 50 years ago). And sea level rise is accelerating with climate change, which will exacerbate the risks to communities from both routine and catastrophic flooding.
For more information on the legislation and how it can help communities, birds and other wildlife read the letter the National Audubon Society sent to Congress in support of the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.
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