August 13, 2021

Senate-Approved Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Would Send $492 Million to Whitehouse’s Coastal Resilience Fund

National Coastal Resilience Fund designed to defend communities from rising seas

Washington, D.C. – The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by the U.S. Senate yesterday would invest $492 million over five years in a climate resiliency grant fund designed by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Whitehouse created the National Coastal Resilience Fund to restore and strengthen the natural infrastructure that protects coastal communities while safeguarding wildlife habitats.

“Climate change is here, and I’m working hard to prepare Rhode Island homes and businesses,” said Whitehouse. “There is an urgent and enormous need for resiliency funding. The sooner these grants get into coastal communities, the better off we’ll be in the face of rising seas and powerful storms.” Past recipients of the grant fund include the University of Rhode Island and Friends of Green Hill Pond, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, and Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) and its partners. In Rhode Island, funding has been used to identify sites vulnerable to sea level rise that would benefit from shoreline adaptation, design projects to prevent flooding, and restore dunes and habitats that act as natural buffers for coastal areas.

“We are encouraged to see a focus on funding for climate resiliency and adaptation, as the Ocean State is heating up faster than most other states and seeing the impacts of the climate crisis,” Priscilla De La Cruz, President of the Environment Council of Rhode Island. “The latest IPCC report is yet again sounding the alarm on the need for strong and swift climate action across the board.”

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report this week warning that climate change has accelerated and some significant effects are unavoidable. CRMC projects the Rhode Island coastline could see between 9 and 12 feet of sea level rise by the end of the century. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act awaits action in the House of Representatives.

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921