The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday voted to approve a package of bipartisan bills to protect vulnerable coastal and Great Lakes communities impacted by climate change.
The package includes bipartisan legislation introduced by Representative Derek Kilmer that would 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.
“Climate change is real and it requires bold action,” said Rep. Kilmer.
“Our region has seen severe storms and rising sea levels threaten communities. We’ve seen homes and community centers in Taholah face water damage. We’ve seen the Quileute Tribal School in La Push be in the crosshairs of a rising ocean. We’ve seen coastal challenges threaten public safety, public access, and cultural landmarks for these tribes and others, including the Hoh and Makah Tribes.”
Among the key provisions included in the H.R. 729 are:
- Supporting Resilient Coasts
Kilmer’s Tribal Coastal Resiliency Act provides federal resources to Native American tribes living in coastal areas to support their efforts to mitigate threats caused by climate change and sea level rise.
The bill would modernize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Coastal Zone Management Grant Program to create a dedicated set-aside for tribal communities to secure grant funding to support key projects that will protect their people and landmarks from changing landscapes and weather events.
Coastal tribes are increasingly confronting persistent flooding, mold damage, tsunami threats, and erosion.
- Protecting Living Shorelines
H.R. 729 also include bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Kilmer to establish a grant program to fund the design, implementation, and monitoring of climate resilient living shoreline projects intended to protect coastal communities and ecosystem functions from environmental conditions, particularly those impacted by climate change.
Eligible projects include the removal of shoreline armoring and restoration of nearshore habitat for juvenile salmon, which not only improve resilience, but are also are among the top priorities for the Puget Sound Partnership’s Action Agenda to protect and restore Puget Sound.