Press Room

House Overwhelmingly Passes Bill to Protect Additional 17,000 Acres of U.S. Shoreline

Protects coastlines for communities, birds and people and saves tax dollars

NEW YORK – “Hurricanes and rising seas are teaching us heartbreaking lessons and we’ve learned that more cement in the wrong places is not the solution for people or birds,” said David Yarnold, President and CEO of National Audubon Society (@david_yarnold). “The bipartisan support we saw in the House vote today reflects the growing understanding that building in nature’s bulls-eyes doesn’t make economic sense. Naturally resilient coasts are the best investment, and keeping them free of risky development is all upside for taxpayers, coastal communities and wildlife.”

On Friday morning, the U.S. House passed a bill protecting an additional 17,000 coastal acres in storm-prone states, including North and South Carolina, Delaware and Florida, amending the Coastal Barrier Resources Act. The Coastal Barrier Resources Act removes federal support for risky development saving taxpayers billions of dollars. The bill is HR 5787, the Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2018, which now moves on for consideration in the Senate.

Roughly 3.5 million acres of barrier islands, beaches and wetlands along the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes and Caribbean are included in the current Coastal Barrier Resources System, which:

  • Supports outdoor economies, ecotourism and fishing industries in 21 states and territories by preserving natural shorelines;
  • Has saved U.S. taxpayers billions in federal expenditures;
  • Protects people and communities by creating more resilient coasts that buffer the storm surge and flooding from increasingly powerful storms.

“These coastal areas are crucial to birds that have fewer and fewer places to feed and raise their young due to human development and the effects of climate change, including rising seas and shifting food sources,” said Dr. Karen Hyun VP, Coastal Conservation for the National Audubon Society. “In the Carolinas, for example, several iconic shorebird species are now rebuilding their populations on these protected areas, like the Red Knot, American Oystercatcher and Piping Plover. “

Audubon’s fact sheet on CBRA: https://www.audubon.org/sites/default/files/cbra_fact_sheet.pdf.

More about coastal resilience: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/coastal-resilience.

Contact: Anne Singer, asinger@audubon.org, 202-271-4679

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using, science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more how to help at www.audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.

 

 

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