Why It Matters: Healthy coastal habitats are important for many recreationally important species like striped bass and red snapper. Many of our coastal areas are increasingly challenged by environmental factors such as warming water temperatures, rising sea levels, and storm surge due to anthropogenic impacts caused by leveeing rivers and reducing sediment flows to our marshes. The RISEE Act will provide much-needed funding to address these challenges and proactively conserve our coastlines.
- Last week, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and nearly 15 partners sent a letter to the Senate in strong support of the Reinvesting in America’s Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems (RISEE) Act.
- Led by Senators Whitehouse (RI) and Cassidy (LA), the RISEE Act would amend the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) and create a dedicated funding stream from future offshore wind development for the purposes of coastal protection and resiliency.
On February 28, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and nearly 15 partner organizations sent a letter to Senators Whitehouse and Cassidy expressing our support for their Reinvesting in America’s Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems (RISEE) Act, and thanking the Senators for championing this legislation.
The RISEE Act would help diversify federal conservation funding by dedicating a portion of the royalties from the development of offshore wind to coastal resiliency investments. Additionally, the RISEE Act would dedicate more of the existing offshore energy production revenue from the Gulf of Mexico to support regional coastal restoration and resiliency projects for the Gulf Coast states.
Due to the impacts of climate change, man-made infrastructure, and natural disasters impacting our coastlines, coastal loss is an ever-growing challenging. For example, in the case of Louisiana, levees that line the Mississippi River are vital for flood mitigation and human safety; however, levee structures are exacerbating the problem of coastal erosion and wetland loss along the Gulf of Mexico. Historically, seasonal floods in the Mississippi River would deposit critical sediment into the delta plain, naturally rebuilding wetlands in the region. Prior to the mass construction of the levee system, Louisiana was growing at roughly 3/4 of a square mile annually. However, following the construction of the levees, Louisiana is losing an average of 16 square miles a year, or the equivalent of a football field, roughly every hour and a half.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation will continue to work with the offices of Sens. Whitehouse and Cassidy to advance the RISEE Act in the 118th Congress.