Murphy, Pallone promoting living shoreline infrastructure projects

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. recently urged the Biden Administration to quickly implement investments in living shoreline projects from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act.

In a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Richard W. Spinrad, Murphy and Pallone called on the agency to use the funding allocated in the laws to directly support projects that will protect and restore coastal and marine habitats.

The investments in living shoreline projects from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act are modeled on a bill that Murphy and Pallone introduced in 2021.

“We are proud of this immense investment to build community and ecosystem resilience to climate change while bolstering our economy. We urge you to dedicate the necessary resources that will ensure the swift implementation of these critical investments in our coastal communities,” Murphy and Pallone wrote. “Congress has provided NOAA with a historic opportunity to protect American coastal communities and our precious ecosystems from climate change threats. We urge you to prioritize nature-based coastal resilience efforts, like living shoreline infrastructure and research, as you create plans for this significant funding.”

Living shoreline infrastructure 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, adaptable to changing environmental conditions, and can help improve water quality and wildlife habitat protection.

NOAA received $3 billion through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and $2.8 billion through the Inflation Reduction Act to build living shoreline projects and conduct research on best practices

Photo: Carteret County Shore Protection Office