Oregon Senators Introduce Living Shorelines Act

Image source: USACE

Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have introduced the Living Shorelines Act, legislation that would create a new grant program for nature-based shoreline protection projects known as living shorelines.

“As sea-level rise and coastal storms continue to threaten thousands of coastal communities and economies, investing in living shorelines can help reduce risk from floods and storms and increase the resiliency of Oregon’s coast,” according their official announcement.

Living shorelines are a type of green infrastructure that protect and stabilize coastal edges by using natural materials such as plants, sand, shell or rock.

The Living Shorelines Act will:

  • Establish a grant program to help states, towns, and NGOs implement climate resilient living shoreline projects and encourage the use of natural materials in the protection of coastal communities;
  • Direct NOAA to develop criteria to select grantees based on the potential of the project to protect the community, and the ecological benefits of the project, among other things;
  • Prioritize areas that have received a Stafford Act disaster declaration or areas that have a documented history of coastal inundation or erosion;
  • Authorize $50 million a year for these grants.

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