Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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Banking woes send consumers looking for safer alternatives, some Indiana communities resist a dollar chain store "invasion," and a permit to build an oil pipeline tunnel under the Great Lakes is postponed.

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Republicans say it is premature to consider gun legislation after the Nashville shooting, federal officials are unsure it was a hate crime, and regulators say Silicon Valley Bank was aware of its financial risks.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Groups Say FL Coasts Need Federal Dollars to Mitigate Storm Impacts

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Tuesday, June 29, 2021   

TAMPA, Fla. -- Environmental groups are urging federal lawmakers to allocate $10 billion in the upcoming infrastructure package for coastal restoration projects to prevent flooding and bolster the economy.

The move would have a big impact on Florida, where tidal flooding has increased by 352% since 2000.

More than 100 groups have signed a letter in support of funding for coastal projects in the American Jobs Plan.

Jean Flemma, director of the Ocean Defense Initiative and co-founder of the Urban Ocean, noted Florida is an area that needs these projects to start now.

"Florida is 'ground zero' for sea-level rise, and storms that are increasing in intensity and severity," Flemma stated. "Implementing coastal-restoration projects that provide that natural buffer against storms and rising seas will be incredibly important."

A University of California-Santa Cruz report found Florida mangroves prevented $1.5 billion worth of flood damage during Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Flemma pointed out 18 of the 34 coastal states have identified more than $6 billion worth of projects they would undertake if they had the funding.

Projects would also create jobs in a wide range of industries, Flemma explained.

"Everything from engineers, to work in shoreline stabilization, marine debris removal, even landscape architects, and people that are going to actually go in and do the work, planting seagrass or restoring a wetland," Flemma outlined.

Coastal-restoration projects backed by stimulus money created around 15 jobs for every million dollars of investment, according to a 2017 analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Nicolas Lama, youth leadership council member for EarthEcho International, said it is vital to bolster coastal resilience efforts in Florida, not only to create jobs, but to mitigate climate change.

"The reality of the climate crisis in our state is, it's not some far away issue, it's one that Congress needs to take action on now," Lama asserted. "We stand to lose so much from climate change here in Florida. And young Floridians like myself are worried about the future of our state."

According to NOAA, there were a record-breaking 30 named storms in the 2020 hurricane season, 14 of which became hurricanes.

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.


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