Pingree’s bill to support coastal communities impacted by ocean acidification passes House

The bipartisan Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act would require NOAA to collaborate with state, local, and tribal government entities on ocean acidification vulnerability assessments, research planning, and information sharing.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today celebrated the passage of her bipartisan Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act of 2023 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, introduced in January by Pingree and Congressman Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), would direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support the current efforts of coastal communities, particularly those who are underserved and rural, that are already facing the impacts of ocean acidification and better equip them with the resources to respond.

“Ocean acidification threatens not only our fisheries but the entire blue economy, our marine resources, industries, jobs, and coastal communities like those in Maine,” said Pingree, ranking member of the House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee. “My bipartisan Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act will address the growing and far-reaching threat of ocean acidification to help ensure that our ocean industries, including fisheries, and the communities that depend on them, are more resilient to our changing oceans. I thank my House colleagues for their strong support and urge Senators to do the same so we can get this important bill to President Biden.”

“Florida’s waterways are essential to our economic growth and prosperity,” said Waltz. “As Floridians, we have experienced firsthand the devastating effects of harmful algal blooms and red tides on our coastal communities. We must work to better understand the connection between ocean acidification and increased toxicity to prevent them moving forward. Today’s passage of this bill brings us one step closer to bolstering collaboration among all stakeholders working to protect Florida’s waterways.”

The Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act of 2023 would:

  • Improve collaboration with and report on efforts to coordinate with state, local, and tribal governments on community vulnerability assessments, research planning, and similar activities
  • Build upon existing ocean acidification activities currently or historically conducted by state, local, and tribal governments,
  • Include two representatives from Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, and Tribal consortia affected by ocean acidification to the Ocean Acidification Advisory Board, and
  • Maintain the Ocean Acidification Information Exchange to support data sharing on ocean acidification research, data, and monitoring efforts between Federal experts, non-Federal resource managers, community acidification networks, and affected stakeholders.

Office of Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (1st District of Maine), 10 may 2023. Press release (text and video).

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