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A Voice for Our Ocean

112 Organizations Urge Congress to Go Big on Ocean and Coastal Resilience Funding in the American Jobs Plan

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Washington, D.C. – Ocean Conservancy, Ocean Defense Initiative and 110 organizations representing national, regional, state and local entities signed a letter urging Congress to include $10 billion for ocean, Great Lakes, and coastal restoration and resilience projects in economic stimulus and infrastructure legislation.

In the letter, the organizations highlight why Congress must make these essential investments. Currently, our coastlines are suffering from the effects of climate change while the communities that live along them are also still struggling from the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Investments in coastal restoration and resilience projects offer both environmental and economic benefits that can help our communities build for the future.

The organizations also point out that there are already $6 billion worth of projects in 18 of the 34 coastal states that can be carried out right now if they had funding. Congress must meet and exceed that level of demand to bolster coastal areas and communities as well as our national economy. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded 125 projects with $167 million and studies have shown that these projects created between 15-30 jobs per million dollars invested and over $260 million in total economic benefits.

“Restoration and resilience projects can lift up coastal communities by providing economic opportunities, jobs and the potential to minimize impacts from sea level rise and extreme weather events,” said Reggie Paros, Director of Government Relations at Ocean Conservancy. “These projects also provide a significant benefit to coastal environments and our ocean by increasing the effectiveness of blue carbon ecosystems, filtering harmful pollutants before they reach other bodies of water and restoring key habitat for important species like salmon, lobster, and more. Investments in restoration and resilience projects can be a significant benefit to our coastal species and habitats, while providing job opportunities for many hard-working people in America struggling to save their way of life.”

“Now is the time to “go big” on investments in ocean and coastal restoration and resilience funding that will reap huge returns for our economy, climate, and communities,” said Jean Flemma, Director, Ocean Defense Initiative. “This is an urgent and once-in-a-generation opportunity to fund the projects on the ground that will create jobs and build resilient communities in a changing climate.”

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Ocean Conservancy and Ocean Defense Initiative experts are available for interviews upon request.

Notes to Editor:

  • A copy of the letter is available upon request

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Ocean Defense Initiative works to strengthen ocean conservation leadership and raise the profile of the ocean climate nexus among decisionmakers and the public. The project supports policies that would leverage the ocean as a source of climate solutions, benefit ocean wildlife, protect ocean ecosystem health, and ensure the sustainable use of the ocean and its resources in a changing climate.

 

 

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