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Pallone, Murphy Call for Investment in Coastal Resiliency Projects to Combat Climate Change and Create Jobs

April 30, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) wrote to President Biden today requesting support for living shoreline coastal resiliency projects that will help coastal communities combat climate change and rebuild the economy. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan specifically calls for investment in nature-based infrastructure to maximize coastal resilience and protect the environment.

Living shoreline projects use natural materials and systems, including dunes, wetlands, and oyster reefs, to support the natural flood resilience of healthy shoreline ecosystems. Natural infrastructure is cost-effective and adaptable to changing environmental conditions. It also enhances ecosystem functions which can improve water quality and wildlife habitat protection. Coastal recreation, tourism, and fishing industries depend on a healthy environment to thrive. Additionally, certain types of living shorelines can also support carbon mitigation. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that on average 15 jobs are created for every $1 million invested in coastal restoration projects.

“We commend your administration’s acknowledgment in the American Jobs Plan that rebuilding America’s infrastructure is an opportunity to meet and respond to the climate crises while creating jobs. Shovel-ready living shoreline projects are one of the most economic ways to achieve these objectives. We urge you to support increased funding for living shorelines in budget documents and as you work with Congress to craft legislation to enact the American Jobs Plan,” Pallone and Murphy wrote. “Federal funding is needed to help communities along the ocean and Great Lakes invest in coastal resiliency projects to protect against increased flooding, erosion, and stronger storms.”

Pallone has been a longtime advocate for living shorelines projects. Pallone’s Living Shorelines Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2019. The bill would create a federal grant program through NOAA to assist states, localities, tribes, territories and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in constructing living shorelines. In August 2019, he highlighted a living shorelines project in Keyport, New Jersey that helps the town mitigate the effects of climate change and major flooding events.

A copy of the letter is available HERE.