top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Resident commissioner joins bipartisan effort to address impact of climate change on coasts

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón

By The Star Staff

Two bipartisan bills were reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change on U.S. coasts, coastal communities and oceans. as well as in the wide range of communities and industries that depend on them, the House announced on Monday.

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón, as co-chair of the Congressional Ocean Caucus, joined Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) to refile the measures.

“The climate crisis is a threat to all industries and communities, but one of the ways our nation is feeling the impacts of climate change is through the accelerating change of our oceans and coastlines,” Carbajal, who co-authored the Coastal State Climate Preparedness Act, said in a written statement. “Whether it’s reduced fishing capacity, erosion of our beaches, worsening storm surges and hurricanes, or historic devastation of our coastlines, coastal communities like mine will see widespread impacts and will need support to overcome these challenges.”

“I am proud to partner with peers from the other party like Rep. Fitzpatrick to reintroduce these two critical bills that will help coastal communities navigate the impacts of climate change and advance research on the growing threats to our fisheries and all those who depend on them,” he said.

Fitzpatrick noted that “[p]reserving and enhancing our country’s oceans, wildlife, and ecosystems is paramount to our future.”

The Coastal State Climate Preparedness Act would provide grants to coastal states to help them plan and implement strategies to mitigate climate change, prepare for sea level rise, and address other impacts.

González Colón, a Republican, and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Oreg.), co-chairs of the House Oceans Caucus, joined in the reintroduction of the Ocean Acidification Research Partnership Act, which seeks to authorize up to $5 million in research grants for studies on the effects of ocean acidification, a rapidly worsening climate threat that threatens the U.S. fishing and tourism industries.

“Ocean acidification poses a significant threat to our marine, estuarine and coastal ecosystems, such as our coral reefs in Puerto Rico,” the resident commissioner said. “It also hurts important sectors of the U.S. economy, including fishing and ocean tourism activities in our nation’s coastal communities. That’s why I’m proud to support the Ocean Acidification Research Partnership Act, which would authorize grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for collaborative research projects between the fishing industry and academia to investigate the effects of ocean acidification. I am confident this will further inform our efforts to address this important issue.”

Bonamici added that “the Ocean Acidification Research Partnership Act will provide dedicated funding to study the effects of ocean acidification on the fishing and tourism industries, helping them prepare for changing ocean conditions.”

According to a report published by the United Nations, worsening ocean acidification caused by both runoff-induced nutrient pollution and carbon air pollution will cost the global economy more than a billion dollars annually by 2100.

Worsening ocean acidification threatens billions of dollars in U.S. economic activity and tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, according to NOAA.

32 views0 comments
bottom of page