The US government this week announced US$2.6 billion (~€2.3 billion) in investments to address coastal climate resilience and protect marine resources.
The investments include $30 million (~€28 million) for the designation of new national marine sanctuaries that advance the “America the Beautiful” conservation initiative.
Funding will also support facilities and visitor center upgrades at six different sanctuaries to benefit coastal communities.
According to National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Vice President of External Affairs Shannon Colbert:
“Because of the [Biden] Administration’s leadership in response to the needs of our communities, there are historic opportunities to expand the National Marine Sanctuary System to protect areas vital to Indigenous communities, conserve key habitats and biodiversity hot spots, and strengthen climate resilience through conservation, restoration, and science. This will benefit community-led efforts to designate nationally significant sites for national marine sanctuaries such as Chumash Heritage, Lake Ontario, Hudson Canyon, Papahanaumokuakea, Pacific Remote Islands and Lake Erie.
“Marine protected areas are one of the most effective tools to safeguard ocean health and the species that call the ocean home, yet only 1.9 percent of waters surrounding the continental U.S. are currently protected.
“Climate change is disproportionately impacting the ocean. The ocean is central to mitigating climate change; it has already absorbed 90 percent of the climate system’s excess heat. The resulting changes in water temperature, ocean acidification, and deoxygenation alters ocean circulation and chemistry, raises sea levels, increases storm intensity, and changes the diversity and abundance of marine species. These impacts threaten the physical well-being, economic prosperity, and food security of communities along our coasts and across the country, as well as businesses that rely on marine resources and transportation. Climate change weakens marine ecosystems’ ability to provide critical ecological services and natural infrastructure for climate resilience.
“The Foundation supports this historic investment in national marine sanctuaries and in our sanctuary communities that builds climate resilience in our ocean, supports indigenous and tribal priorities for ocean protection, advances environmental justice and equitable access for all, and brings the country closer to reaching its climate goals.”
Today NOAA announced a $2.6B framework to invest in coastal resilience through the Inflation Reduction Act.
— NOAA (@NOAA) June 6, 2023