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House Passes Bonamici Provisions to Accelerate Ocean Research in Climate Crisis

December 10, 2019
Press Release

 

WASHINGTON, DC [12/10/19] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Co-Chair of the House Oceans Caucus, spoke on the floor of the House before the passage of the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act (HR 729).

 

The legislation includes provisions from two of her bipartisan bills, the BLUE GLOBE Act and the ICOOS Act, to help coastal communities better address rising sea levels, coastal flooding, harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and other effects of climate change by strengthening ocean data collection and monitoring.

 

“The climate crisis continues to threaten our ocean, and we must equip our coastal communities with the information necessary to respond to ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia, as well as tsunami preparedness, navigation, and security concerns,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “I was pleased to work with my House Oceans Caucus Co-Chair, Congressman Young, on the bipartisan Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing System Act. I’m glad it is included in this package of ocean bills to help the Regional Associations of the Integrated Ocean Observing System, including NANOOS in the Pacific Northwest, to strengthen their efforts to deliver accurate, reliable data on our ocean and coasts. We also need to overcome the long-term and high-risk barriers in the development of ocean technologies, and I’m thrilled that the bill includes a provision to assess the potential for an Advanced Research Project Agency–Oceans.”

 

You can view video of the Congresswoman speaking on the House Floor in support of the bill here.

 

Bonamici offered several amendments to the bill, which were adopted. With her amendments, the bill:

  • Allows coastal communities to seek funding to study coastal acidification, hypoxia, and harmful algal blooms as allowable activity through an existing grant program
  • Paves the way for high-risk, high-reward ocean research by directing NOAA to join the National Academy of Sciences to assess the need for and feasibility of an Advanced Research Projects Agency–Oceans (ARPA–O).

 

The Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act is a package of ten bills to protect the ocean and Great Lakes and help coastal and lakeside communities. The bill includes the Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing System Act, which Bonamici co-led with her House Oceans Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Don Young (R-AK), to strengthen the Integrated Ocean Observing System’s work using satellites, buoys, underwater gliders, and tide gauges to deliver accurate and continuous data on our ocean and coasts.

 

The bill also includes the Tribal Coastal Resiliency Act, Living Shorelines Act, Keep America's Waterfronts Working Act, District of Columbia Flood Prevention Act, Coastal State Climate Preparedness Act, National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act, Great Lakes Fishery Research Authorization Act, Digital Coast Act, and National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act.

 

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