Groups Call for $10 Billion to Bolster Shorelines Against Sea-Level Rise
Thursday, June 24, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO - Sea levels in California are projected to rise up to 55 inches by the end of the century, so climate advocates are calling on Congress to fund coastal restoration projects to mitigate potential flooding.
More than 100 groups signed a letter calling on lawmakers to include $10 billion for such projects nationwide in the proposed infrastructure bill.
Seventeen-year-old Amelia Fortgang, chair of the Bay Area Youth Climate Summit and youth leadership council member at Earth Echo, said the time for action is now.
"At the same time that the skies turn orange from wildfires, our coasts are moving inward," said Fortgang. "And this is a major issue because in California 85% of our residents live and work in coastal counties."
Reports done for the Governor's Climate Adaptation strategy predict that if nothing is done, coastal flooding could threaten $100 billion in property and infrastructure.
The state already has a list of shovel-ready projects including restoration of wetlands from San Diego to Santa Barbara and construction of a living shoreline around San Francisco Bay.
Jean Flemma, director of the Ocean Defense Initiative and co-founder of the Urban Ocean Lab, said natural projects have proved more effective at protecting the shore than hard infrastructure such as sea walls.
"Rebuild a wetland, or restore a marsh or sea-grass beds," said Flemma, "so that you are creating a natural buffer between the coast and the communities, and the rising seas and more intense storms that are happening now as a result of of climate change."
Advocates estimate that coastal resilience projects would create tens of thousands of jobs for engineers, biologists and cleanup and construction crews.
A 2017 analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that coastal-restoration projects funded with stimulus dollars created around 15 jobs per million dollars of investment.
Disclosure: Ocean Defense Initiative contributes to our fund for reporting on Oceans. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …
LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…
DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …
SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…
CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …
BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …