Coastwide
Getty/Joe Raedlle

US - Americans Support Investing in Our Coasts—Congress Should Too

Home to nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population, America’s coasts and Great Lakes are central to life in this country. Americans look to the coast for economic opportunity, relaxation, and spiritual renewal.

Home to nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population, America’s coasts and Great Lakes are central to life in this country. Americans look to the coast for economic opportunity, relaxation, and spiritual renewal. But now, coastal communities are at the forefront of the climate crisis, subject to increasingly severe extreme weather events, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems.

One solution—supported by 68 percent of Americans and with bipartisan congressional backing—is to restore the natural infrastructure that protect communities, foster wildlife, and lock away carbon. Investing in key coastal ecosystems such as salt marshes, seagrass meadows, oyster beds, and coral reefs creates jobs and helps coastal communities prepare for the now-inevitable impacts of climate change. This is especially important for historically disadvantaged communities that have and continue to experience both the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and higher risks of climate change. Coastal restoration can also be implemented in part through the Climate Conservation Corps—a priority for President Joe Biden supported by a majority of Democrats and independents, as well as half of Republicans.

Coastal states are ready to build back better, with “shovel ready” projects that will create jobs and revitalize communities. To support this effort, a bipartisan coalition of House members is advocating for the investment of at least $10 billion in coastal and ocean restoration; and this same amount is also included in Rep. Raúl Grijalva’s (D-AZ) recently reintroduced Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act.

Now it is time for Congress to take advantage of this historic moment and invest in coastal and ocean restoration.

How coastal restoration can help build for the future

Coastal restoration and resilience projects provide both environmental and economic benefits:

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