RI senator introduces bill to protect coastal infrastructure

By The Associated Press

news@abc6.com

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced legislation that would strengthen coastal infrastructure and support ocean research.
        
The National Oceans and Coastal Security Act would establish a fund to support research on coastal communities across the country.
        
The fund would provide grants to strengthen coastal roads, bridges and other infrastructure that are critical to coastal economies.         

It would also support work to restore coastal habitats, manage fisheries and plan for sustainable coastal development.         

The bill would direct 12.5 percent of revenues from offshore energy development, including oil, gas, and renewable energy, to the fund.
        
Whitehouse says protecting coastal infrastructure is important in the face of ocean acidification, dead zones, oil spills and weakened marshes.
        
Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, is co-chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus.

(c) The Associated Press / WLNE-TV 2015