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Congressional Estuary Caucus

Reps. Posey, Bonamici & Mast Reintroduce Bipartisan Estuary Initiative

Representative Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) reintroduced his bipartisan legislation—The National Estuaries and Acidification Research Act—aimed at fighting coastal acidification and helping estuaries like our Indian River Lagoon with fellow Congressional Estuary Caucus Co-Chairs, Rep Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Rep Brian Mast (R-FL).  The National Estuaries and Acidification Research Act, or NEAR Act, passed the House of Representatives last Congress with bipartisan support.

“Estuaries are some of most diverse ecosystems in the country, and because estuaries are places where freshwater mixes with salt water from the oceans, preserving this delicate balance is necessary but also challenging,” said Rep. Bill Posey. “This critical legislation will help protect our estuaries by ensuring that we continue to study and monitor the effects of coastal acidification, and I would like to thank Representatives Bonamici and Mast for their work on this issue and their important leadership in our bipartisan estuary caucus.” 

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Estuary Caucus, I know that estuaries are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and essential to the economic vitality and environmental integrity of Oregon,” said Rep. Suzanne Bonamici. “By absorbing carbon dioxide and polluted runoff, our estuaries are becoming more acidic. Unfortunately, research has not kept pace with the needs of coastal communities to fully understand the ecological and socioeconomic consequences. This legislation will address the research gap and help preserve our nation’s estuaries.”
“On the Treasure Coast and in the Palm Beaches, we’ve seen what happens when estuaries are left to die—businesses are forced to close, animals are killed, and people get sick.  That cannot be allowed to happen, so this legislation is critical, and it’ll go a long way toward protecting marine life and promoting healthier communities,” said Rep. Brian Mast.

Specifically, the NEAR Act directs the National Academies of Science Ocean Study Board to conduct a two-year study examining the science of ocean acidification and its impact on our estuaries.  The goal of the NEAR Act is to create a better understanding of coastal acidification, so we can better manage and mitigate its effects on our nation’s estuaries and other natural treasures.

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