WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Brian Mast (FL-18) and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) today introduced the bipartisan Blue Carbon For Our Planet Act. The legislation is designed to capture the power of our ocean and estuaries to protect coastal blue carbon ecosystems like the St. Lucie Estuary, Indian River Lagoon and Lake Worth Lagoon.

“Blue carbon ecosystems like those all along Florida’s coastlines serve a critical purpose providing habitats for fish and oysters, protecting our shorelines and improving water quality,” Rep. Mast said. “But if we continue down the current path of mistreating our coastal ecosystems and poisoning our waterways, we are going to exponentially increase the damage and risks for future generations. Making sure we protect and restore these ecosystems is a must.”

“Our ocean and coastal ecosystems are often overlooked and undervalued, but they are among the world’s most productive working ecosystems and can help in our work to solve the climate crisis,” Rep. Bonamici said. “We must act now to capture the great power of our coastal ecosystems to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it. The bipartisan Blue Carbon for Our Planet Act recognizes the potential of this natural climate solution by mapping, protecting, and restoring coastal blue carbon ecosystems.”

The Blue Carbon for Our Planet Act would create a national map of coastal blue carbon ecosystems and their sequestration potential, study the effects of environmental stressors on rates of carbon sequestration, improve protections for existing coastal blue carbon ecosystems and restore degraded ecosystems. 

The bill is also co-sponsored by Representatives Bill Posey (FL-8) and Don Beyer (VA-8). A copy of the legislation can be found below.