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Congressman Engel Signs Congressional Letter to Support Funding for Coastal Communities

Congressman Engel Signs Congressional Letter to Support Funding for Coastal Communities

Westchester-Congressman Eliot Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, joined several of his colleagues in signing a letter to request $80 million in funding for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program. The funding, which represents an $11.5 million increase over the requested amount in the President’s budget, would go toward supporting the Sea Grant’s Community Resilience initiative, a program dedicated to helping solve socioeconomic and ecological challenges facing coastal communities.    

“Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call, and we need to make sure we are better prepared as a result,” Congressman Engel said. “Coastal flooding has become a serious issue in my district, one that is difficult to fix if resources are lacking. The National Sea Grant College Program’s Community Resilience initiative helps solve challenges that coastal communities face, like hurricanes, erosion, flooding, and other climate-change related effects. The research done as a result of this initiative will help improve preparedness and adaptability at a time when our weather patterns are becoming more and more erratic. I believe it is imperative for us to make every effort to robustly fund this program, so that areas like the Sound Shore region will be better equipped to handle severe weather events in the future.”         

Comprised of 33 programs that partner with over 300 colleges and universities, the Sea Grant is a federal-state partnership that supports ocean and coastal research, outreach, extension, education, and training. As a result of Sea Grant activities in 2014, 300 communities improved their coastal resilience, 21,700 acres of ecosystem were restored ,and 17,500 jobs were created or sustained.