Issues

The Challenge

Our national economy and our national security are imperiled by the triple threat of rising sea levels, extreme weather events and aging infrastructure.

We have known this for decades, but we have failed to act. This is a national challenge that transcends state and local boundaries in both its impacts and its resolution.

It is time to design, fund, and construct a national coastal and harbor interstate infrastructure system on the same scale and for the same reasons of economic development and national defense that, in 1956, our country committed to build the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways

The Response

Communities on the coasts and our inland lakes and rivers are developing coastal and harbor infrastructure plans to control flooding, to save lives and to protect public and private property.

We can either respond to the magnitude and urgency of this crisis with a continuing cycle of local and regional disaster relief, repairing our 20th Century infrastructure at great cost in lives and property, or we can develop and fund a national program to assist our cities and states in the development and cost effective implementation of a national 21st Century coastal adaptation plan. Working together at all levels of government and in close cooperation with the private sector, we can put in place an infrastructure and non-infrastructure system that protects our communities and revitalizes our coastal economies with state-of-the-art technology, innovative transportation systems, modern port facilities and non-infrastructure solutions.

The Federal Role

The Federal Government must develop a national program to support our state, regional and local coastal infrastructure action plans with new policies, regulations and federal funding.

In order to protect our national security and our national economy, the Federal Government must develop a comprehensive national program to support our state, regional and local coastal infrastructure action plans with new policies, new regulations and national federal funding. To ensure success, the magnitude and urgency of this nationwide challenge requires the leadership of a single government agency and federal funding equal in magnitude of this challenge.