Beyer, Rooney Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Enhance Coastal Resilience Efforts
Today, Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Francis Rooney (R-FL) introduced the National Ocean and Coastal Security Improvements Act (H.R. 4093). The bill would support coastal communities’ ability to prepare for and respond to a variety of coastal threats, including extreme weather events, climate hazards and changing ocean conditions by improving coastal infrastructure and supporting coastal research, resiliency, conservation and restoration work.
“We are already beginning to experience the effects of sea-level rise both here in Virginia’s Eighth District and across the country, which is the reason resiliency planning is so important. It is time for Congress to acknowledge this pressing issue and get serious about enhancing coastal resilience efforts,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “I thank my colleague Congressman Francis Rooney for his leadership on The National Oceans and Coastal Security Improvements Act so we can protect the security of our coasts for generations to come.”
“Sea-level rise, storm surge and flooding currently threaten millions of homes across the 24 coastal states in the U.S. and have created billions of dollars in property losses. We must recognize the dangers associated with rising seas, and stress the need to proactively prepare for future effects, such as increased risks of flooding from stronger hurricanes,” said Rep. Francis Rooney. “Without preventive actions taken now, we risk the future livelihoods of our beautiful coastal communities. That’s why I am proud to join my colleague Congressman Don Beyer in sponsoring The National Oceans and Coastal Security Improvements Act, which makes sure that there are resources in place to both strengthen coastal infrastructure, and also support resiliency research.”
H.R. 4093 would improve upon the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) current coastal resilience program. It would clarify definitions for “tidal shoreline” and “Indian Tribe,” specify percentages for how the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund shall be used for national and state block grants and the national competitive grant program, and detail specific eligible uses for the Fund’s grant programs. Further, the bill explains additional requirements to receive financial support from the Fund.
Coastal resilience continues to be a critical mission for the NOAA and the National Ocean Service. The bill aims to support them by helping communities go beyond being “storm-ready” to being able to adapt to changing economic, social, and environmental conditions and effectively respond to new threats to infrastructure, local economies, ecosystem health and national security.
Text of the bill can be found here.