Earlier this week House Democrats introduced new legislation that aims at addressing how human-caused climate change has impacted the ocean and what the federal government can do to help.
Arizona Democrat Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, introduced the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act with a statement saying: “A healthy ocean is key to fighting the climate crisis.”
The bill is aimed to provide ocean-based climate solutions to reduce carbon emissions and global warming; to make coastal communities more resilient; and to provide for the conservation and restoration of the ocean and coastal habitats, biodiversity, and marine mammal and fish populations; and for other purposes.
Grijalva’s outline specifically states the following goals:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
- Increase carbon storage in blue carbon ecosystems;
- Promote coastal resiliency and adaptation;
- Improve ocean protection;
- Support climate-ready fisheries
- Tackle ocean health challenges; and
- Restore U.S. leadership in international ocean governance.
Leaders of climate and conservation groups, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, and other environmentalists and activists back this new piece of legislation.
According to EcoWatch, some of those climate and conservation groups include the Center for American Progress, Earthjustice, Environment America, Greenpeace USA, League of Conservation Voters, National Ocean Protection Coalition, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ocean Conservancy, Surfrider Foundation, and Urban Ocean Lab.
“This is the bill we have been waiting for. It draws on the latest science to tap the treasure-trove of ocean solutions to accelerate progress on climate change. The outcome? People win, the economy wins, nature wins,” says Oregon State University professor Jane Lubchenco.