Velázquez Introduces Bill Establishing National Database to Combat Rising Sea Levels
Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has introduced a bill, entitled The National Sea Level Risk Analysis Act (H.R. 8750) to help coastal communities address present and future flooding risks and develop innovative and science-based solutions to combat the climate crisis.
The bill would direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to collect and centralize data on flood risks across the nation. By identifying flood risks, the database, entitled the National Coastal Data Information System, would help coastal communities prepare for future natural disasters. Through a collection of maps, data on rising sea levels, and more, the system would help coastal cities and towns address the unique problems climate change poses to their area.
“Our city has already suffered the consequences of rising sea levels and flooding,” said Velázquez, “If we don’t take this threat seriously and implement bold climate solutions, it will only get worse. With the National Coastal Data Information System, we can arm our coastal towns with data on rising sea levels. Having ready and convenient access to this information is the first step to science-based solutions for our city. When we can assess how these changes may impact New York City through the information being added to this database, we can prepare sustainable infrastructure to protect our buildings and ensure the safety of our community against any disaster that comes its way.
"Superstorm Sandy, Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Katrina are a few examples of the devastation and long lasting impacts endured by frontline coastal communities,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre, of UPROSE. “In environmental justice communities, where storm surge often means toxic chemicals are dispersed, we have been collecting data, mapping, and developing plans to strengthen social cohesion. This bill centers science and community. It strengthens our collective ability to do the work necessary to address a crisis that is already here."
The National Sea Level Risk Analysis Act also received endorsements from Friends of the Earth, Roots Action, and Sequoia Forest Keeper.
A PDF copy of the bill is available online here.