Shaheen Helps Reintroduce Bill to Strengthen Revenue Sharing Program for Coastal CommunitiesFebruary 17, 2023
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in reintroducing the bipartisan and bicameral Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems (RISEE) Act. The RISEE Act would both amend the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) and create a new dedicated stream of funding from future offshore wind development for coastal protection and resiliency. This will allow for more equitable resource sharing between states, the federal government and conservation programs.
“New England’s coastal towns – including NH’s Seacoast – are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and are vulnerable to rising sea levels. We need federal investments to protect our shorelines that are home to communities and ecosystems alike,” said Shaheen. “I’m cosponsoring the RISEE Act to dedicate funding from offshore wind production to support coastal resiliency projects across the nation. I’ll continue to work across party lines to protect coastal communities.”
The RISEE Act would send 37.5% of offshore wind revenue to adjacent states where offshore wind farms are developed. The state share is based on a formula developed by the Secretary of the Interior to ensure states are receiving revenues from wind energy development off their coasts. By sharing offshore wind revenues with nearby states, the RISEE Act will invest in coastal protection and restoration.
The state funds can be used:
- For coastal restoration, hurricane protection, or infrastructure;
- To mitigate damage to fish, wildlife, or other natural resources, including through fisheries science and research; and
- To implement a marine, coastal, or conservation management plan.
In addition, 12.5% of offshore wind revenues would serve as a further dedicated funding source for the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund. This Fund provides competitive grants to coastal and Great Lakes communities to respond to coastal erosion and sea level rise, restore coastal habitat, and make improvements to coastal infrastructure and would be expanded to provide support to states based on a formula.
As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Shaheen routinely secures robust funding for programs that address numerous issues impacting New Hampshire, from offsetting at-sea monitoring fees to combating the climate crisis. In the fiscal year 2023 government funding law, she secured $6.37 billion for NOAA – which is an increase of $495 million or 8 percent over last year’s funding level. This includes $761 million for NOAA research, much of which pertains to combating the climate crisis. This funding will help coastal communities in New Hampshire and across the nation bolster their resilience to changing climate, as well as support ocean health and research. In addition, the law invests in successful job-creating programs, sustainable economic development and environmental restoration. Shaheen also supported the historic climate bill – the Inflation Reduction Act – which was signed into law last year and invests resources into climate resiliency efforts. Shaheen previously authored an op-ed with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in the Boston Globe, underscoring crashing coastal property value and warning of the economic fallout along our coasts due to the impacts of climate change.
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