The act will fund coastal restoration grants for states and tribes, reduce emissions at ports, enhance critical weather forecasting and prepareness, and support environmental review of projects on our coasts. This means more funding for protecting and restoring blue carbon ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass meadows, and salt marsh that are a first line of defense against storm surge and sea level rise and incredibly efficient carbon sinks. It will help us acheive, although not entirely, the reduction in carbon emissions we need to meet our targets toward carbon neutrality. The act also provides critical opportunities for better coastal zone planning as our coastlines change with a changing climate.
Unfortunately, the deal includes harmful provisions related to energy development. The bill includes new oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, and specifically ties offshore wind energy development to offshore drilling. Therefore, although we celebrate the climate provisions set forth by the act, Surfrider will continue to fight to protect all US coastlines from offshore oil and gas leases.
So while we applaud this giant leap in funding for our climate, we vow to monitor and help guide how the Inflation Reduction Act translates to real climate action and fight the bad projects along the way.
Please join us in our efforts to help save the ocean and the planet and donate or join your local chapter today.