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Audubon CEO Dr. Elizabeth Grey Testifies Earlier than U.S. Senate on Coastal Laws


    On June 15, Dr. Elizabeth Grey, CEO of the Nationwide Audubon Society, testified earlier than the U.S. Senate Committee on Surroundings and Public Works. The committee sought enter from stakeholders on 4 necessary items of laws:

    • The Coastal Habitat Conservation Act of 2021, which might authorize technical help for grant packages focused to habitat conservation to enhance coastal neighborhood and ecosystem safety;
    • The Nice Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Reauthorization Act, which authorizes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to proceed to work with states and different businesses to develop and execute proposals to preserve, restore, and handle fish and wildlife populations and their habitats;
    • The Delaware River Basin Conservation Reauthorization Act, which might reauthorize essential conservation packages all through the Delaware River Watershed and enhance the equitably of federal funding offered by the Act; and
    • The Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2022, which might broaden the bipartisan Coastal Barrier Sources Act and its system of protected areas, defending very important coastal ecosystems whereas saving federal tax {dollars}.

    Within the listening to, Elizabeth Grey conveyed Audubon’s help for all 4 payments, with specific emphasis on the Strengthening Coastal Communities Act, not but launched in Congress. This draft invoice would add over 277,000 acres of protected areas to the Coastal Barrier Sources System as really helpful by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in response to the injury attributable to Hurricane Sandy practically 10 years in the past. It might additionally broaden the definition of a “coastal barrier” to incorporate extra undeveloped areas like these on the Pacific Coast within the System sooner or later, and authorize a pilot venture so as to add marsh migration corridors to the System in order that wetlands can naturally “migrate” inland to maintain up with sea-level rise.

    Dr. Grey instructed the committee:

    “Coastal assets, similar to wetlands, seashores, and barrier islands, present essential providers. They function leisure areas, improve our resilience to local weather threats like floods and hurricanes, and supply habitat for birds and different wildlife. But local weather change and improvement have diminished hen habitats. The U.S. has misplaced 3 billion birds for the reason that Nineteen Seventies, with a 70-percent decline in sea- and shorebird populations during the last 50 years. 

    “Rising storms and hurricanes additionally threaten coastal communities. Hurricanes have killed practically 6,700 folks and brought about greater than $1.1 trillion in damages from 1980 to 2021. Nevertheless, the burdens of local weather change don’t have an effect on all communities equally. These on the frontlines of local weather change—primarily lower-income communities, communities of colour, and Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities—are being hit first and worst by its impacts.”

    You possibly can learn Elizabeth Grey’s full testimony right here

    You possibly can watch your entire listening to, together with Elizabeth Grey’s testimony, beneath: