Text: S.3515 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/18/2008)


110th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3515


To establish 4 regional institutes as centers of excellence for research, planning, and related efforts to assess and prepare for the impacts of climate change on ocean and coastal areas.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 18 (legislative day, September 17), 2008

Mr. Whitehouse introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

To establish 4 regional institutes as centers of excellence for research, planning, and related efforts to assess and prepare for the impacts of climate change on ocean and coastal areas.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Findings.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Oceans are a major carbon sink and have absorbed at least 50 percent of all fossil carbon released to the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

(2) The increased absorption of carbon by the oceans due to climate change has—

(A) increased ocean acidification, which impacts the health of marine and coastal ecosystems; and

(B) influenced the important role oceans play in the global cycling of carbon.

(3) Climate change has contributed to sea levels rising 7 inches during the 20th century and nearly 1.5 inches between 1993 and 2003.

(4) Climate change will greatly amplify risks to coastal populations, economies, and ecosystems from—

(A) saltwater inundation of low-lying coastal regions;

(B) more frequent flooding due to storm surges; and

(C) worsening beach erosion.

(5) Research into the effects of climate change on coastal environments, and into the ways in which coastal communities must adapt to the challenges brought by climate change, is an essential component to the overall response to climate change.

SEC. 2. Institutes for Ocean and Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change.

(a) Establishment.—The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall jointly establish 4 regional institutes, to be known as “Institutes for Ocean and Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change”, at institutions of higher education in the United States for research, planning, and related efforts to assess and prepare for the impacts of climate change on ocean and coastal areas, including the Great Lakes.

(b) Location.—The Administrators shall designate the location of 1 of the regional institutes established under subsection (a) at an institution of higher education in each of the following regions:

(1) The Northeast Region, which shall include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

(2) The Southeast and Gulf Coast Region, which shall include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and the Virgin Islands.

(3) The Western/Pacific Region, which shall include Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, and Washington.

(4) The Great Lakes Region, which shall include Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

(c) Grants authorized.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrators shall award grants to 4 institutions of higher education to carry out the purposes of this section.

(2) APPLICATION.—An institution of higher education seeking to operate an institute under this section shall submit an application to the Administrators at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Administrators may reasonably require.

(d) Schedule.—The Administrators shall—

(1) accept applications for grants under this section beginning not later than 9 months after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(2) award all of the grants authorized under this section not later than 90 days after the first day on which applications are accepted.

(e) Objectives.—The Institutes for Ocean and Coastal Adaptation shall be centers of excellence that—

(1) document and predict coastal and ocean effects of climate change; and

(2) serve as a principle national and international resource for providing technical expertise on adaptation strategies for ocean and coastal area to respond to climate change.

(f) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.


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