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Statement on Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

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Washington, D.C. – The following statement was issued by Reggie Paros, Director of Government Relations at Ocean Conservancy, on the Senate’s newly-reached bipartisan infrastructure deal:

“As the impacts of climate change continue to grow, investing in infrastructure that reduces pollution and protects and restores our ocean and coasts is more critical than ever. The threat of rising seas, warming waters, and intensified storms all loom over our coastal communities – threatening homes, lives, and livelihoods. The Senate’s initial investments in coastal restoration, shipping and port modernization, clean energy infrastructure, and the fight against plastic waste is a big first step in the effort to put Americans back to work and prepare our coastal communities for a changing climate.

“While we applaud this recent action, we also know that more is needed to address the magnitude of the crisis we are facing and that investments in infrastructure shouldn’t come at the expense of landmark laws like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that ensure the public has a meaningful voice in decision-making and require transparency about the social, economic and environmental impacts such projects will have. We strongly urge the Senate to continue working on a reconciliation package that will further address the climate crisis with policies to achieve greater emissions reductions and additional resources for adaptation.”

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Reggie Paros is available for interviews upon request.

Notes to the Editor:

  • Investments made by the bill include:
    • NOAA coastal restoration and resilience:
      • $492M for NOAA’s National Coastal Resiliency Fund, to improve resilience of coastal communities to flooding by restoring natural ecosystems.
      • $491M for NOAA Community-Based Restoration Project, to protect the safety and well-being of coastal communities through restoration projects.
      • $77M for NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System, to protect and study estuarine systems.
      • $207M for NOAA’s Coastal Zone Management Program, to address pressing coastal issues, including climate change.
    • Shipping and port modernization:
      • $2.25B for the Port Infrastructure Development Program
      • $80M over 5 years to reduce truck emissions at ports
      • 8 billion over 5 years for at least 4 clean hydrogen hubs to demonstrate production, processing, delivery, storage and end-of-use of clean hydrogen
    • Fight against plastic waste:
      • $200M for NOAA Marine Debris Program – this program is the “tip of the spear” for the U.S. government in confronting the ocean plastic waste problem, both at home and abroad.
      • $100M for EPA Pollution Prevention Program – a grant program intended to help businesses adopt and improve pollution prevention and reduction practices.
      • $75M for RECYCLE Act – a new EPA grant program to help educate households and consumers about residential and community recycling programs. This helps decrease contamination in the recycling stream and support recycling infrastructure.
      • $275M for SOS 2.0 Sec. 302 Post-Consumer Materials Management Grants – newly created grant program by the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act to provide support to local authorities looking to improve and enhance their waste management and recycling infrastructure.
    • Regional Ocean Planning
      • $56M for Regional Ocean Partnerships

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.

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