WASHINGTON (December 6, 2022) – At present Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) launched bipartisan laws that may broaden one of the vital necessary bedrock environmental legal guidelines to guard individuals and birds on our coasts. The Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2022 will replace and modernize the Coastal Barrier Assets Act, a decades-old regulation that makes use of a market-based strategy to guard undeveloped seashores, wetlands, and different coastal areas.

“For 40 years, this regulation has saved lives, saved tax {dollars}, and preserved the locations that birds and other people want on our coasts,” mentioned Brian Moore, vice chairman of coastal coverage at Nationwide Audubon Society. “It’s time now to broaden these protections to extra areas, to make sure that CBRA can maintain delivering advantages within the face of local weather change.”

Created in 1982, the Coastal Barrier Assets Act (CBRA) protects 3.5 million acres of undeveloped barrier islands, seashores, inlets, and wetlands alongside the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Nice Lakes, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These areas present protected, undisturbed habitat for coastal birds like American Oystercatchers and Piping Plovers to nest, feed, and relaxation throughout migration. Additionally they act as nature’s pace bumps, buffering close by communities from storms and floodwaters. By eradicating taxpayer-funded subsidies for improvement in hazardous coastal areas, CBRA promotes public security and has saved federal taxpayers nearly $10 billion over 25 years.

Following years of examine and public enter, the Division of the Inside is recommending Congress add over 277,000 acres to the CBRA system in 9 states hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy 10 years in the past. With this new invoice, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia all stand to realize important new protections on their coasts.

“Coastal wetlands like these within the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays have been essential in decreasing property injury alongside the Atlantic Coast throughout Hurricane Sandy,” mentioned Jim Brown, coverage director for Audubon Mid-Atlantic. “This invoice will lengthen these protections to much more areas within the area and past, defending essential wildlife habitat, and human communities from the subsequent massive storm.”

Moreover, different coastal states susceptible to sea-level rise and storm impacts like South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana will achieve new protections on this laws. The invoice additionally authorizes a pilot undertaking to establish new upland areas adjoining to the CBRA system that is also added to permit wetlands inside the system to naturally transfer inland as sea ranges rise.

“South Carolina’s coastal birds are in decline, they usually rely on the undisturbed habitat of the CBRA system,” mentioned Nolan Schillerstrom, coastal program supervisor for Audubon South Carolina. “These new protected areas will present much-needed advantages to each individuals and birds in our state.”


The National Audubon Society protects birds and the locations they want, immediately and tomorrow. Audubon works all through the Americas utilizing science, advocacy, schooling, and on-the-ground conservation. State applications, nature facilities, chapters, and companions give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches hundreds of thousands of individuals annually to tell, encourage, and unite various communities in conservation motion. A nonprofit conservation group since 1905, Audubon believes in a world wherein individuals and wildlife thrive. 

Contact: Rachel Guillory, [email protected]