House Passes Bill Protecting Tribal Coastal Lands

12/17/2019 12:45 PM | ACRA Lobbying Team

The House of Representatives has passed the Tribal Coastal Resiliency Act (H.R. 729), which would help protect the cultural and environmental resources of tribes living in coastal areas if enacted into law. The bill authorizes the Commerce Department grants to Indian tribes for meeting various tribal environmental and cultural coastal zone goals.

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., whose district includes the Olympic Peninsula, argued that help is needed -- now.

"Our region has seen severe storms and rising sea levels threaten communities," Kilmer said. "We've seen homes and community centers in Taholah face water damage. We've seen the Quileute Tribal School in La Push be in the cross hairs of a rising ocean. We've seen coastal challenges threaten public safety, public access and cultural landmarks for the tribes and others, including Hoh and Makahs."

In a bizarre scene on Tuesday, Arizona's Republican Rep. Debbie Leska argued that the coastal protection legislation was not needed. She represents a district consisting of Phoenix suburbs and the Sonoran desert. But 34 GOP House members backed the bill. Kilmer had two senior Republicans as co-sponsors, Reps. Don Young of Alaska and Tom Cole of Oklahoma. Cole is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

Click here to read the full article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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