Tacoma, WA – On Wednesday, March 31, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) joined Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) and Bill Posey (FL-08), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Estuary Caucus, and 35 House Members in calling on the Biden Administration to provide $10 billion in the next recovery package for coastal restoration and resilience projects.
“Many of our coastal communities are struggling through the coronavirus pandemic,” the Members of Congress wrote. “As your Administration crafts a recovery package to build back better, we strongly urge you to include $10 billion for coastal restoration and resilience projects to help revitalize our coastal communities and create good-paying jobs. We also urge you to support policies that strengthen our nation’s ocean research efforts.”
The Members noted that restoration and resilience projects can rapidly provide economic benefits for coastal communities and advance natural climate solutions to protect our planet. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $167 million for the NOAA Office of Habitat Conservation to restore coastal habitats and stimulate economic growth. The funds helped restore more than 25,584 acres of coastal habitat, improved 677 miles of streams of fish habitat, removed more than 433,397 tons of debris from coastal habitats, and created good-paying jobs. Communities had submitted approximately $3 billion in projects, demonstrating the enormous potential for job creation with more federal investment.
Last Congress, the House passed two bills led by Rep. Kilmer that impact coastal communities. The Ocean Acidification Act of 2019, a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Kilmer to allow federal agencies to use existing funds to conduct prize competitions to increase the ability to research, monitor, and manage ocean acidification and its impacts, passed the House with the support of 395 Representatives on June 5, 2019. The Tribal Coastal Resiliency Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Kilmer to provide dedicated resources to Native American tribes living in coastal areas to support their efforts to mitigate threats caused by climate change and sea level rise, passed the House with bipartisan support on December 10, 2019.
The letter was also signed by Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán, Earl Blumenauer, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D., Salud Carbajal, Ed Case, Kathy Castor, David N. Cicilline, Joe Courtney, Charlie Crist, Peter A. DeFazio, Suzan K. DelBene, Jenniffer González-Colón, Raúl M. Grijalva, Alcee L. Hastings, Jared Huffman, William R. Keating, James R. Langevin, Alan Lowenthal, A. Donald McEachin, Gwen Moore, Jerrold Nadler, Jimmy Panetta, Chris Pappas, Chellie Pingree, Katie Porter, Jamie Raskin, Deborah K. Ross, Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Adam Smith, Darren Soto, Marilyn Strickland, Thomas R. Suozzi, Paul D. Tonko, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Jennifer Wexton.
The full letter can be found here.