Text: S.Res.263 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/26/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. RES. 263


Designating the week of September 23 through September 29, 2013, as “National Estuaries Week”.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 26, 2013

Mr. Whitehouse (for himself, Mr. Blumenthal, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Warner, Ms. Collins, Mr. Reed, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Cochran, Mr. Coons, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. King, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Begich, Mr. Schatz, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Markey, Mr. Cardin, Mrs. Murray, Ms. Landrieu, Ms. Hirono, Ms. Mikulski, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Menendez, Mrs. Gillibrand, and Ms. Warren) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


RESOLUTION

Designating the week of September 23 through September 29, 2013, as “National Estuaries Week”.

    Whereas the estuary regions of the United States constitute a significant share of the economy of the United States, with as much as 41 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States generated in coastal shoreline counties;

    Whereas the population of coastal shoreline counties in the United States increased by 39 percent from 1970 to 2010 and is projected to continue to increase;

    Whereas not less than 1,900,000 jobs in the United States are supported by marine tourism and recreation and other coastal industries that rely on healthy estuaries;

    Whereas the commercial and recreational fishing industries rely on healthy estuaries and directly support 1,700,000 jobs in the United States;

    Whereas, in 2011, commercial fish landings generated $5,300,000,000 and recreational anglers spent $26,780,000,000;

    Whereas estuaries provide vital habitats for countless species of fish and wildlife, including many species that are listed as threatened or endangered species;

    Whereas estuaries provide critical ecosystem services that protect human health and public safety, including water filtration, flood control, shoreline stabilization, erosion prevention, and the protection of coastal communities during extreme weather events;

    Whereas the United States has lost more than 110,000,000 acres of wetland, or 50 percent of the wetland of the United States, since the first European settlers arrived;

    Whereas bays in the United States that were once filled with fish and oysters have become dead zones filled with excess nutrients, chemical wastes, harmful algae, and marine debris;

    Whereas changes in sea level can affect estuarine water quality and estuarine habitats;

    Whereas the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.) provides that it is the policy of the United States to preserve, protect, develop, and, if possible, restore or enhance the resources of the coastal zone of the United States, including estuaries, for current and future generations;

    Whereas 24 coastal and Great Lakes States and territories of the United States operate a National Estuary Program or contain a National Estuarine Research Reserve;

    Whereas scientific study leads to better understanding of the benefits of estuaries to human and ecological communities;

    Whereas the Federal Government, State, local, and tribal governments, national and community organizations, and individuals work together to effectively manage the estuaries of the United States;

    Whereas estuary restoration efforts restore natural infrastructure in local communities in a cost-effective manner, helping to create jobs and reestablish the natural functions of estuaries that yield countless benefits; and

    Whereas the week of September 23 through September 29, 2013, has been recognized as “National Estuaries Week” to increase awareness among all people of the United States, including Federal Government and State and local government officials, about the importance of healthy estuaries and the need to protect and restore estuaries: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) designates the week of September 23 through September 29, 2013, as “National Estuaries Week”;

(2) supports the goals and ideals of National Estuaries Week;

(3) acknowledges the importance of estuaries to sustaining employment in the United States and the economic well-being and prosperity of the United States;

(4) recognizes that persistent threats undermine the health of the estuaries of the United States;

(5) applauds the work of national and community organizations and public partners that promote public awareness, understanding, protection, and restoration of estuaries;

(6) reaffirms the support of the Senate for estuaries, including the scientific study, preservation, protection, and restoration of estuaries; and

(7) expresses the intent of the Senate to continue working to understand, protect, and restore the estuaries of the United States.