Beyer, Mast Introduce Bipartisan National Ocean and Coastal Security Improvements Act
Washington, June 16, 2021
Today, Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Brian Mast (R-FL) introduced the National Ocean and Coastal Security Improvements Act. 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. Congress must do more to enhance coastal resilience efforts,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “I thank my colleague Congressman Brian Mast for his leadership on the National Oceans and Coastal Security Improvements Act so we can protect our coasts for generations to come.”
“In Florida, we know all too well that the cliché that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is especially true when it comes to our environment,” Rep. Mast said. “Making this investment now is critical to heading off an even more expensive mess in the future. I thank Congressman Beyer for spearheading this legislation and look forward to working with him to get it across the finish line.”
Beyer and Mast’s bipartisan legislation 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.