The Coastal States Organization (CSO), the collective voice for the nation’s coastal States, Commonwealths, and Territories on federal policy issues relating to coastal, Great Lakes, and ocean resource management, applauds the Senate passage of the bi-partisan infrastructure bill (H.R. 3684 as amended).
The infrastructure bill contains robust investments in our nation’s coastal infrastructure which are critical for addressing coastal hazards. Over half of the nation’s population lives in a coastal county and are facing sea level rise, flooding, erosion, tsunamis, and increased coastal storm intensity and storm surge. The infrastructure bill provides overdue investment to strengthen critical coastal infrastructure, build and restore natural infrastructure in coastal areas with growing populations, and help coastal communities adapt to impacts of climate change.
The infrastructure bill investments in community resilience include:
- $207 million over five years for grants to states and territories to implement coastal and Great Lakes habitat restoration projects which will provide ecosystem and community resilience benefits under the Coastal Zone Management Act and the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program.
- $77 million for National Estuarine Research Reserves to implement coastal habitat restoration projects which will provide ecosystem and community resilience benefits under the Coastal Zone Management Act and the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program.
- $492 million for competitive grants for coastal natural infrastructure projects under the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund to benefit fish and wildlife and to reduce the impacts of coastal flooding.
- $491 million for competitive grants for Community-Based Habitat Restoration projects that restore marine, estuarine, coastal, and Great Lakes or protect or construct features that protect coastal communities from flooding or coastal storms.
- $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to protect and restore Great Lakes habitats.
- $1 billion for FEMA Pre-disaster Hazard Mitigation Assistance to help communities—both coastal and non-coastal—to adapt to changing condition and reduce their vulnerabilities so they can withstand and rapidly recover from hazards.
- $2.55 billion for USACE coastal storm risk management, hurricane and storm damage reduction, projects, and related activities including at least $200 million for shore protection projects.
A full summary of coastal appropriations and legislative provisions in the bi-partisan infrastructure bill is available here.
CSO applauds the Senate for passing this bi-partisan legislation, strongly supports the investments in coastal resilience in the bill, and urges the House of Representatives to advance this important legislation investing in or nations coastal infrastructure.
 Excluding Alaska. https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/hazards/natural-hazards/.