White House Announces Climate and Natural Resources Priority Agenda,

Strong Recognition for Estuaries and Coastal Wetlands

WASHINGTON – A new priority agenda from the White House announces new actions and comprehensive commitments across the Federal Government to enhance the resilience of our Nation’s natural resources, especially estuaries and coastal resources, in the face of climate change. The agenda places particular emphasis on the importance of healthy estuaries and coastal wetlands for their ability to mitigate carbon pollution and enhance community resilience.

Estuaries and coastal wetlands are on the front lines of climate change impacts from rising sea-level, extreme weather events and increased flooding. Every dollar invested in the mitigation of storm-surge effects on coastal communities saves four dollars in losses from natural hazards,[1] and for every $1 million invested in restoration projects, between 17 and 30 jobs are created.[2]

“We commend the White House for advancing an agenda that commits to increased priority and investment in our coastal natural resources,” said Jeff Benoit, President and CEO of Restore America’s Estuaries. “Our estuaries and coastal wetlands play a crucial role in helping communities prepare for the effects of climate change while helping to measurably reduce carbon pollution at the same time. I’m especially pleased to see that the agenda fully recognizes the importance of our coastal resources in the same fashion and priority we have long placed on terrestrial resources.”

Restore America’s Estuaries and our member organizations are pleased to be a partner on several of the private and public sector commitments announced by the White House including:

  • “Targeting Blue Carbon” project in Tampa Bay, Florida in partnership with Tampa Bay Watch, Environmental Science Associates (ESA), The Tampa Bay Environmental Restoration Fund and additional support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • “Restoring Galveston Bay Estuary” project in Galveston, Texas in partnership with The Galveston Bay Foundation and Accenture.
  • “Coastal Salt Marsh Restoration” project in Cape May, New Jersey with leadership from American Littoral Society and funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Coastal wetlands are vitally important ecologically, economically and culturally. Estuaries—bays and inlets where freshwater intermixes with saltwater from the ocean—act as spawning grounds and nurseries for commercially and recreationally important fish and shellfish species, provide storm buffers for coastal communities, filter pollutants, and provide habitat for numerous species of fish and wildlife, as well as recreational opportunities for hundreds of millions of Americans annually.


Link to Restore America's Estuaries Press Release

Link to White House Press Release

Link to full Priority Agenda

[1] Multihazard Mitigation Council, 2005: Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: An Independent Study to Assess the Future Savings from Mitigation Activities. Volume 1: Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations. National Institute of  Building Sciences, Washington, DC

[2] Restore America’s Estuaries. 2011. Jobs & Dollars – Big Returns from Coastal Habitat Restoration. http://www.estuaries.org/images/81103-RAE_17_FINAL_web.pdf