Murphy, Pallone call for investment in coastal resiliency projects to combat climate change and create jobs

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WASHINGTON, CT – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) wrote to President Biden on Friday 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,” Murphy and Pallone 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.”

Earlier this month, Murphy held a roundtable in Stratford with local officials and stakeholders on the importance of funding coastal resiliency and shoreline mitigation projects to prevent erosion and to better protect homes, people, and infrastructure from storms and sea level rise. As Chair of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Murphy oversees funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which helps fund these projects. In addition, last Congress, Murphy introduced the Living Shorelines Act, which provides funding for nature-based restoration projects known as living shorelines.

A copy of the letter is available HERE.

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