Senate Declares National Estuary Week!
Narragansett Bay Reserve, Rhode Island.
Some excellent news from Capitol Hill: the Senate unanimously approved a resolution designating the week of September 15 through 22, 2018, as National Estuaries Week.
Sponsored by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island) and 26 others, the bipartisan legislation recognizes the importance of coastal and estuarine regions to our national economy, and reaffirms the Senate’s continued support for protecting and restoring these vital resources.
“Estuaries are a big part of life in Rhode Island. They sustain our economy, from fishing to tourism to hospitality. They protect us from storms, and serve as nurseries for all manner of marine and other wildlife. And they are the backdrop to so many happy memories with our families and friends,” said Whitehouse, who serves as co-chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus and also sponsored legislation to reauthorize the National Estuaries Program in 2016.
“We are so grateful to the efforts of senator Whitehouse and his colleagues for recognizing how important it is to work together to protect and manage estuaries as a nation,” says Rebecca Roth, NERRA’s executive director. “The benefits that Rhode Island receives from estuaries are experienced in every coastal state.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), estuary regions cover only 13 percent of the land area of the continental United States, but make up nearly half of the country’s economic output. However, these vital resources considerable threats due to changing land use, pollution, and the impacts of climate change. Programs like the NERRS and the National Estuaries Programs are on the front lines of understanding how these vital resources function and conserving them for future generations.