US looks at ocean-based climate solutions act

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici presented the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act. The bill is a comprehensive ocean climate package based on the Select Committee’s Climate Action Plan.

The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act aims to address the climate crisis, protect the ocean, and advance marine energy.

Every person on this planet benefits from a healthy ocean, but for too long the ocean has literally taken the heat for us

said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici.

The ocean priorities included in the new legislation are:

  • The Blue Carbon for Our Planet Act, which would create a national map and inventory of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, like mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrasses, and kelp forests, that can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it for centuries to millennia.
  • The COAST Research Act, a comprehensive bill to confront the challenges of ocean acidification and coastal acidification and help coastal communities adapt.
  • The Water Power Research and Development Act, which would scale up federal investments in marine energy, including the work at Oregon State University.
  • The BLUE GLOBE Act, which would assess the potential of an Advanced Research Project Agency–Oceans (ARPA-O).
  • The Shovel-Ready Restoration Grants for Coastlines and Fisheries Act, which is responsive to a House Oceans Caucus letter to Leadership requesting investments in coastal restoration and resilience projects to support and create good-paying jobs.
  • The National Estuaries and Acidification Research (NEAR) Act, which would address the significant research gaps in our understanding of the effects of ocean and coastal acidification on our nation’s estuaries.
  • The Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act, which would direct NOAA to conduct vulnerability assessments to identify communities that are dependent on coastal and ocean resources that may be affected by ocean acidification.
  • The Ocean Acidification Innovation Act, for federal agencies to increase efforts to research, monitor, and manage ocean acidification and its effects.
  • The Living Shorelines Act, which would create a grant program to support natural infrastructure investments.
  • The Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act to strengthen monitoring of our ocean and coasts.

The Select Committee recently released a comprehensive Climate Action Plan that outlines a science-based path to reach net-zero emissions no later than mid-century and net-negative thereafter. It includes a focus on the needs of frontline communities, opportunities to accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy economy, and ways to create good-paying jobs.

Safety4Sea, 23 October 2020. Article.

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