Sen. Chris Coons secured funding for environmental programs critical to Delaware in the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies and Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bills, which both passed the Senate Appropriations Committee today with bipartisan support.
“Delaware’s natural resources, including beautiful coastline, help drive our economy and make Delaware a great place to live and work, but protecting our regional environment and our coastline requires resources,” said Coons. “That’s why I’m so proud that we were able to include critical funding for programs that keep our oceans and our local ecosystems clean and safe through this annual appropriations bill.”
Coons fought to protect Delaware’s coastal and ocean resources through funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This includes $80 million for Coastal Management Grants, $30 million for the new Title IX Oceans Fund, $10 million for the Marine Debris Program and $27.5 million for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Coons also fought for $71 million for NOAA’s Sea Grant College Program, of which University of Delaware’s Lewes campus is a member. Finally, Coons fought for funding for NOAA’s ocean and coastal observation programs, which improve the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce and coastal resource management through the integration of real-time observations.
Coons fought to secure strong federal funding for important programs at the Department of the Interior that help conserve and protect the nation’s rivers, wetlands and other valuable natural resources. This includes $4 million for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program, $43 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund and $425 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Coons also fought for strong funding for several Environmental Protection Agency programs that provide states with the tools they need to protect and restore clean water, land and air on the local level; including the Chesapeake Bay Program; the National Estuary Program; and grants to protect water from nonpoint source water pollution, ensure clean and safe beaches and support clean water and drinking water infrastructure. As in past years, Delawareans will directly benefit from the many local programs these grants help support.