COASTAL COMMUNITIES OCEAN ACIDIFICATION ACT OF 2019; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 94
(House of Representatives - June 05, 2019)

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[Pages H4325-H4327]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




          COASTAL COMMUNITIES OCEAN ACIDIFICATION ACT OF 2019

  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 1716) to direct the Secretary of Commerce, acting 
through the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, to conduct coastal community vulnerability assessments 
related to ocean acidification, and for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 1716

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

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Coastal Communities Ocean 
     Acidification Act of 2019''.

     SEC. 2. STATE AND UNITED STATES DEFINED.

       Section 12403 of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research 
     And Monitoring Act of 2009 (33 U.S.C. 3702) is amended--
       (1) by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (4);
       (2) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
       ``(3) State.--The term `State' means each State of the 
     United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of 
     Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the 
     Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands of the United 
     States, and any other territory or possession of the United 
     States.''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(5) United states.--The term `United States' means the 
     States, collectively.''.

     SEC. 3. COASTAL COMMUNITY VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT.

       (a) In General.--Section 12406 of the Federal Ocean 
     Acidification Research And Monitoring Act of 2009 (33 U.S.C. 
     3705) is amended--
       (1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (d); and
       (2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following:
       ``(b) Community Vulnerability Assessment.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Secretary, through the program 
     established under subsection (a), shall conduct an ocean 
     acidification coastal community vulnerability assessment, and 
     issue a corresponding public report, which shall be updated 
     at least once every 7 years.
       ``(2) Requirements.--The assessment conducted under 
     paragraph (1) shall--
       ``(A) identify the United States coastal communities, 
     including island communities, low-population rural 
     communities, and subsistence communities, that are most 
     dependent on coastal and ocean resources that may be impacted 
     by ocean acidification;
       ``(B) assess the nature of the social and economic 
     vulnerabilities of those communities, including the economic 
     impact on local or regional commercial fisheries and 
     recreational opportunities;
       ``(C) identify the ocean acidification impacts that might 
     harm those communities, including impacts from changes in 
     ocean and coastal marine resources that are not managed by 
     the Federal Government;
       ``(D) identify key knowledge gaps where research could be 
     devoted to better understand the possible impacts of ocean 
     acidification on those communities, the risks and threats 
     facing those communities, and possible adaptation strategies 
     for those communities; and
       ``(E) be conducted in collaboration with experts, 
     indigenous knowledge groups, and stakeholders who are 
     familiar with the unique economic, social, ecological, 
     geographic, and resource concerns of coastal communities in 
     the United States, including representatives of--
       ``(i) the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Office 
     for Coastal Management of the National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration;
       ``(ii) National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation 
     System regional information coordination entities established 
     under section 12304(c)(4) of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean 
     Observation System Act of 2009 (33 U.S.C. 3603(c)(4));
       ``(iii) regional ocean acidification networks; and
       ``(iv) State sea grant programs (as defined in section 203 
     of the National Sea Grant College Program Act (33 U.S.C. 
     1122)).
       ``(c) Support for State and Local Vulnerability Assessments 
     and Strategic Research Planning.--In carrying out the program 
     established under subsection (a), the Secretary shall

[[Page H4326]]

     collaborate with State, local, and tribal government entities 
     that are conducting or have completed vulnerability 
     assessments, strategic research planning, or other similar 
     activities related to ocean acidification and its impacts on 
     coastal communities, for the purpose of--
       ``(1) determining whether such activities can be used as a 
     model for other communities; and
       ``(2) identifying opportunities for the National Oceanic 
     and Atmospheric Administration and other relevant Federal 
     agencies to support such activities.''.
       (b) Ongoing Input Mechanism.--Section 12404(b)(5) of the 
     Federal Ocean Acidification Research And Monitoring Act of 
     2009 (33 U.S.C. 3703(b)(5)) is amended--
       (1) by striking ``including information'' and inserting the 
     following: ``including--
       ``(A) information'';
       (2) by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; 
     and''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(B) an ongoing mechanism that allows affected industry 
     members, coastal stakeholders, non-Federal resource managers, 
     community acidification networks, indigenous knowledge 
     groups, and scientific experts not employed by the Federal 
     Government to provide input on research, data, and monitoring 
     that is necessary to support on-the-ground management, 
     decisionmaking, and adaptation related to ocean acidification 
     and its impacts.''.
       (c) Strategic Research Plan.--Section 12405 of the Federal 
     Ocean Acidification Research And Monitoring Act of 2009 (33 
     U.S.C. 3704) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (b)--
       (A) in paragraph (8), by striking ``and'' after the 
     semicolon;
       (B) in paragraph (9), by striking the period at the end and 
     inserting ``; and''; and
       (C) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(10) make recommendations for research that should be 
     conducted, including in the social sciences and economics, to 
     address the key knowledge gaps identified in the community 
     vulnerability assessment report conducted under section 
     12406(b).''; and
       (2) in subsection (e), by inserting ``, tribal governments, 
     indigenous knowledge groups,'' after ``industry''.
       (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 12409(a) of 
     the Federal Ocean Acidification Research And Monitoring Act 
     of 2009 (33 U.S.C. 3708(a)) is amended to read as follows:
       ``(a) NOAA.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
     National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to carry out 
     the purposes of this subtitle $2,700,000 for each of fiscal 
     years 2020 through 2024.''.
       (e) Report on Support for State and Local Vulnerability 
     Assessments and Strategic Research Planning.--Not later than 
     180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
     Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration shall submit to Congress a report on the 
     efforts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration to support State, local, and tribal community 
     vulnerability assessments, strategic research and planning, 
     and monitoring needs, pursuant to section 12406(c) of the 
     Federal Ocean Acidification Research And Monitoring Act of 
     2009 (as added by subsection (a) of this section).

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Johnson) and the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Lucas) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.


                             General Leave

  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks 
and to include extraneous materials on H.R. 1716, the bill under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Texas?
  There was no objection.

                              {time}  0930

  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1716, the Coastal Communities 
Ocean Acidification Act of 2019, which is sponsored by the gentlewoman 
from Maine (Ms. Pingree).
  The bill directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
or NOAA, to conduct vulnerability assessments to study socioeconomic 
impacts of ocean acidification on coastal communities across the 
country.
  As more coastal regions across the U.S. are negatively impacted by 
ocean acidification, it is critical that we work to understand these 
impacts and to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies. These 
strategies can help these communities adequately prepare and respond to 
a more acidic coastal environment.
  In order to be successful, these assessments must involve all coastal 
communities in the U.S., which this bill does by including indigenous 
groups and Tribal governments.
  The bill also includes language that ensures that all U.S. 
territories, which are highly reliant on coastal and marine resources, 
can also take advantage of NOAA's coastal vulnerability assessments. 
This will allow these island communities to protect their vibrant 
coastal economies in the face of an acidifying ocean.
  The vulnerability assessments in this bill also include the economic 
impacts on commercial fisheries and outdoor recreation. These 
industries are significant contributors to many coastal economies, and 
it is important that they are part of the discussion when developing 
strategies to deal with ocean acidification.
  I am glad that this bill passed out of the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology in a bipartisan fashion, and I urge my colleagues 
on both sides of the aisle to support this legislation to better 
prepare our coastal communities and economies against the growing 
threat of ocean acidification.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1716, the Coastal Communities 
Ocean Acidification Act of 2019.
  This bill simply directs the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a 
vulnerability assessment of the impacts of ocean acidification on 
coastal communities. This assessment would identify those communities 
most likely to be affected by ocean acidification in the coming years.
  Once these communities are identified, the assessment would examine 
the economic impacts of ocean acidification on these communities by 
directing Federal agencies to coordinate with local officials, 
community stakeholders, and local businesses. Once the assessment is 
complete, a corresponding report will be made publicly available and 
would be revised every 7 years.
  Our Nation's coastal communities are dependent on the health of our 
oceans. A 2014 NOAA study found there were 149,000 ocean-dependent 
businesses in the United States that employ more than 3 million people 
in industries such as seafood and tourism.
  Ocean acidification is a threat to the health and vitality of these 
communities, and this legislation is an important step to assist those 
communities most directly impacted by this phenomenon.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may 
consume to the distinguished gentlewoman from Maine (Ms. Pingree).
  Ms. PINGREE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. 
Johnson), the committee chairwoman, for yielding me the time and for 
supporting this bill, as well as the ranking member from Oklahoma, both 
of whom have shown a true willingness to address the impact of climate 
change and the impact that it has had on our oceans.
  The increased carbon absorbed by our oceans has presented a crisis 
that has touched coastal communities in the Pacific and Atlantic 
Oceans, as well as the connected water bodies in between. That is why 
it is encouraging to see the health of our oceans finally receive the 
attention from this Chamber that they have long deserved, with the four 
bipartisan bills before us today.
  Despite congressional inaction, the Federal Government has done its 
best to address ocean acidification through existing programs and 
budgets.
  I would particularly like to recognize the work of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, better known as NOAA, which has 
never shirked its responsibility to safeguard our seas in the face of 
climate change, even though the agency did not receive additional 
resources to meet this complex challenge. It is due to NOAA's research 
that we know that our oceans have increased in acidity by approximately 
30 percent since the industrial revolution and could experience 
increases up to 150 percent by the end of the century.
  Let's be clear. That data isn't just frightening on an environmental 
level. It also spells disaster for our economy.
  America's coastal communities produce 45 percent of the Nation's 
gross domestic product, and nearly 3 million American jobs are directly 
dependent on the resources of our oceans and the Great Lakes. If we let 
this

[[Page H4327]]

problem intensify, the financial implications will ripple across all of 
our communities.
  I remember hearing about the issue of ocean acidification taking hold 
in Maine during the summer of 2012. Maine had experienced a big spike 
in ocean temperatures that summer. Triggerfish, seahorses, and a lot of 
invasive species started showing up that year.
  A little fishery for squid popped up in Penobscot Bay. Black sea 
bass, which are common south of Cape Cod, migrated north and became a 
major predator of small crustaceans, such as baby lobsters. In a State 
renowned for its lobster, you can imagine that the impacts on our 
economy were significant.
  Meanwhile, our clammers and shellfish growers have reported similar 
impacts.
  Bill Mook, an oyster farmer on Maine's Damariscotta River, told me 
that he has had to adjust operations to mitigate for ocean 
acidification and worries how future oyster production will be 
affected.
  According to a recent study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic 
Institute, the Gulf of Maine is more susceptible to pressures of ocean 
acidification than any other region on the East Coast.
  These are only a few of the reasons why I introduced the bipartisan 
Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act, which is one of the four 
bills under consideration today. My bill would direct NOAA to study the 
socioeconomic impacts of ocean acidification on coastal communities 
nationwide and, better yet, finally provide the agency with the 
additional authorized funding needed to do this essential research.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge support for the four bipartisan bills before the 
House today, including my own. It is critical that we protect our 
coastal economies and our oceans so that they are here for the next 
generation.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I have no additional speakers, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Oregon (Ms. Bonamici).
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairwoman for yielding time 
and for her support of this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of Congresswoman Pingree's 
Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act.
  I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill, which would 
direct NOAA to conduct a vulnerability assessment to identify 
communities that are dependent on coastal and ocean resources that may 
be affected by ocean acidification.
  The Pacific Coast is more vulnerable to ocean acidification than 
other coastal regions, and it can be used as a testing ground for 
different strategies and models to manage and adapt to ocean 
acidification.
  But ocean acidification is fundamentally a global phenomenon. We must 
strengthen our understanding of the socioeconomic effects of ocean 
acidification on a range of geographically diverse coastal communities.
  Importantly, this bill directs NOAA to work with States, like my home 
State of Oregon, that are already developing ocean acidification 
response plans.
  I thank members of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee for 
including my amendment during the full markup to authorize $2.7 million 
annually for fiscal years 2020 through 2024.
  I hope that my COAST Research Act will complement this bill and 
address some of the gaps in our understanding of the socioeconomic 
effects of ocean acidification. But there must be a separate 
authorization for vulnerability studies.
  Finally, and importantly, I thank all the staff who worked on not 
only this bill but also the COAST Research Act and the other two ocean 
acidification bills, especially, in my office, Maxine Sugarman, but all 
the staff on both sides of the aisle in our offices and the hardworking 
committee staff.
  Finally, I thank Congresswoman Pingree for her continued leadership 
on protecting the health of oceans and improving research on ocean 
acidification.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support this bill.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I ask for support of the bill, and 
I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I, too, advocate support of the bill, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Johnson) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 1716, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________