DOVER, Del. – This afternoon, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, toured St. Jones Reserve, a component of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR). St. Jones Reserve conducts research on long-term weather changes and water quality, and measurable impacts of climate change on plant and animal life in Delaware’s wetlands and marshes. Ongoing research conducted at the reserve continues to show the already drastic effects that warmer waters and sea level rise are having on the long-term viability of Delaware’s marshes. The President’s budget blueprint released last month recommending eliminating all $23 million in funding for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.
“Tidal marshes like St. Jones Reserve act as natural buffers between Delaware’s coastal communities and incoming tidewaters and storm surges. Late last year, Delaware celebrated the restoration of 4,000 acres of coastal marsh at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge that did its job during Superstorm Sandy and bore the brunt of the incoming storm surges, saving homes, businesses and lives. Along the coast, we can’t afford to take climate change lightly, it’s a direct threat to thousands of homes and businesses and has massive implications for our economic stability and Delaware’s livability in the years to come.”
Last month, Senator Carper joined 21 of his Senate colleagues in calling on President Trump to restore funding for the critical Sea Grant program that supports research into the health and resilience of the nation’s coastal communities. The President’s budget recommended eliminating the $73 million program, which is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The President’s budget also proposed cutting NOAA’s Coastal Zone Management grants, Regional Coastal Resilience grants and Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency grants.