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Shaheen, Hassan & Pappas Announce $257K to Safeguard NH Coastal Communities & Ecosystems Impacted by the Effects of Climate Change

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the Vice Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittee which funds the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), announced today with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) that NOAA will award $257,000 to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) for the Department’s Living Shoreline Stabilization for Communities and Tidal Wetlands in the Great Bay Estuary project. The effort will support living shoreline projects that protect salt marsh habitat and coastal communities from erosion, sealevel rise and flooding, such as plants, sand or rock, in the Great Bay Estuary municipalities of Dover, Durham and Newmarket. The funding was awarded through NOAA’s 2020 National Coastal Resilience Fund and will be matched dollar for dollar.

“Granite State communities and habitats along the Seacoast are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which include rising sea levels, erosion and flooding that can cause serious damage and place lives and livelihoods at tremendous risk,” said Senator Shaheen. “These federal dollars will help strengthen natural coastal infrastructure in Dover, Durham and Newmarket, which will boost the resiliency of these communities in the face of our rapidly changing climate. These funds will also safeguard precious salt marsh wildlife and habitat, investing in the sustainability of the region’s environment. Securing federal investments to protect Granite State communities from the effects of climate change and combating this crisis have long been a top priorities of mine, and I’ll continue to fight for more funding through my work on the Senate Appropriations Committee.”

“Climate change is a real and serious threat that has already hit New Hampshire’s Seacoast particularly hard, and we must act quickly in order to mitigate further damage to these communities,” Senator Hassan said. “This federal grant will help protect the Great Bay Estuary, as well as the communities that surround it, from the devastating effects of climate change. By protecting this treasured natural resource, we will help preserve this unique coastal ecosystem while safeguarding the Seacoast economy. I will continue working with the rest of the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation to help combat climate change in order to protect our environment, our economy, and our way of life.”

“As we face the impacts of climate change including warming temperatures and increased coastal erosion, it’s critical that we invest in climate resilient approaches that support the Granite State’s long-term ecologic and economic strength,” said Congressman Pappas. “This additional federal funding will help safeguard Great Bay and mitigate the impacts we have already seen from climate change. I’m pleased NHDES will be receiving these critical funds, and I will continue working with the Congressional delegation to support resiliency projects to protect our state’s natural environment for future generations.”

"We are thrilled that this funding will allow us to really ramp up the implementation of living shoreline projects in Great Bay. The NHDES Coastal Program is very excited to continue its partnership with the Town of Durham and our other teammates as we strive to make New Hampshire a national leader in innovative, nature-based infrastructure projects," said Kirsten Howard, Resilience Program Coordinator, NHDES Coastal Program.

Senator Shaheen is a leader in the Senate for safeguarding our natural environment. She helped introduce the International Climate Accountability Act – legislation to prevent President Trump from using funds to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement and direct the administration to develop a strategic plan for the U.S. to meet its commitment under the Agreement. Shaheen also introduced widely praised bipartisan legislation with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to save American homes and businesses billions of dollars in energy costs and dramatically reduce the United States’ carbon footprint. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen is a vocal advocate of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and, together with Senator Hassan, cosponsored the bill signed into law earlier this year to permanently fund the LWCF and help address the more than $43 million maintenance backlog in New Hampshire.