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February 11, 2016                                                                                                                                  703-524-0248 x-103
 
President Obama’s Budget Proposal Features Strong Investments in Coastal Resilience and Habitat Restoration
 
WASHINGTON – President Obama’s final budget request, released this week, supports strong investments in our Nation’s community and ecosystem resilience with a focus on ensuring coastal communities are prepared and proactive in addressing coastal hazards and climate change. The budget places particular emphasis on the importance of healthy ecosystems and coastal habitat for their ability to mitigate risks from extreme weather events and enhance community resilience.
 
“Substantial and sustained investments in coastal habitat protection and restoration are critical to the continued ecological and economic vitality of our Nation’s coastal communities,” said Jeff Benoit, President and CEO of Restore America’s Estuaries. “Coastal communities that provide nearly fifty percent of our Nation’s GDP are also the most at risk for sea level rise, coastal storms, and habitat loss. Increased funding will help communities build the capacity needed to take proactive measures to address these risks and invest in strategies that improve their resilience. The President’s budget request represents an unequivocal commitment to protecting our coastal natural resources that play a critical role in community resilience. Now it’s up to Congress to act to ensure these much-needed investments are carried out.”
 
Budget highlights include:
  • $2 billion to establish a Coastal Climate Resilience Fund administered over ten years by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Interior to provide at-risk coastal states with funding necessary to plan for and adapt to climate change.
  • $58.4 million for NOAA Habitat Conservation and Restoration Programs that restore habitat to support commercial and recreational fisheries, recover imperiled species, and enhance ecosystems.
  • Continued funding for NOAA’s coastal resilience grants programs that address challenges through the protection and restoration of coastal habitat and improved planning for extreme weather events, changing ocean conditions, and other hazards. Continued funding will help support the nearly $151 million in requests that the program received in its inaugural grant release.
  • $10 million for the National Ocean and Coastal Security Fund, a national endowment to support habitat restoration, coastal infrastructure improvements, research on the impacts of a changing climate on sea level rise and other coastal pressures.
Available here as a PDF.
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Restore America’s Estuaries is the leader of a national alliance of coastal conservation organizations across the country committed to protecting and restoring the lands and waters essential to the richness and diversity of coastal life.