Carper, Cassidy, Blunt Rochester, Graves Introduce Legislation to Protect Our Coasts
Bipartisan, Bicameral SHORRE Act Would Fortify our Nation’s Coastlines and Rivers from the Effects of Climate Change
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), along with U.S. Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Garret Graves (R-La.), today introduced the Shoreline Health Oversight, Restoration, Resilience, and Enhancement Act (SHORRE) Act.
The SHORRE Act would restore our nation’s riverbanks and coastlines, while also making communities across our country more resilient to the effects of climate change. This includes rising sea levels, extreme weather, flooding, and erosion.
“We have to use all the resources at our disposal to safeguard coastal communities from worsening climate threats like extreme weather and rising sea levels. The SHORRE Act recognizes this reality—one we are all too familiar with in Delaware—and creates new authorities to protect those most vulnerable to climate change,” said Senator Carper, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. “In the United States, more than 127 million people live in coastal counties, which represents more than 40 percent of our nation’s population. If coastal counties were their own nation, they would rank third in the world in gross domestic product—beaten only by China and the U.S. as a whole. This isn’t solely a challenge for red states or blue states. I’m pleased we have a bipartisan, bicameral bill with the potential to make an impact for millions.”
“We’ve got to protect and restore our coastlines. This legislation gives more money to Louisiana for coastal erosion. There will be a coastal community that survives because of this legislation,” said Senator Cassidy.
“Our beautiful coastal communities have long been a hallmark of Delaware’s natural heritage. Unfortunately, as the state with the lowest mean elevation in the country, those communities are also disproportionately at risk to suffer from the climate crisis,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “That’s why I’m proud to join Chairman Carper along with Senator Cassidy and Congressman Graves to introduce the SHORRE Act, which will give us the tools we need to safeguard our coastal communities.”
“Flooding and coastal land loss is a crisis too urgent to get stuck in the Army Corps’ tradition of paralysis by analysis. This legislation puts the focus on delivering actual results for Louisiana, ensuring positive outcomes that protect our homes, businesses, communities, and livelihoods. We have to keep building momentum on turning dirt, restoring our coast and protecting communities. Our state is all too familiar with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and this gives us another opportunity to hold them accountable to their mission of hurricane protection and flood control,” Graves said.
Fortifying our nation’s coastlines and rivers from the threat of climate change requires a robust, all-of-government approach. The SHORRE Act would ensure that coastal communities have greater access to federal climate resilience efforts.
It would do so by making of the most significant enhancements of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) coastal storm risk management and ecosystem restoration programs in more than two decades, including:
- Elevating coastal restoration in the face of climate change as the primary mission of the Corps
- Promoting the development of sustainable, nature-based coastal resilience projects
- Creating new flexibilities and authorities to help the Corps protect fragile coastal infrastructure
- Supporting vulnerable coastal economies directing the Corps to focus on climate mitigation projects