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house Bill H.R. 5787

Should Federal Maps of Coastal Areas Be Updated?

Argument in favor

Updating the maps will protect environmentally sensitive wetlands and coastal areas. It’ll also move housing communities out of the protection area, allowing those homeowners to purchase federal flood insurance. This legislation benefits both homeowners and the environment.

SneakyPete's Opinion
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11/13/2018
H.R 5787 - The Strengthening Coastal Communities Act I’d recommend and support the passage H.R 5787 - The Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2018 — which would codify the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) maps revised and digitized as part of the Digital Mapping Pilot Project. It’d also codify three digital maps developed outside the pilot project by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). In effect, this bill would add thousands of acres to the CBRA system along Delaware, North and South Carolina, Florida, and potentially Louisiana by using the latest maps from the Congressionally authorized CBRA Digital Mapping Pilot Project. By revising the CBRS maps for 35 units within the system, it’d add about 18,000 acres to the system, increasing the CBRS’ size by 0.5 percent. Updating the maps will protect environmentally sensitive wetlands and coastal areas. It’ll also move housing communities out of the protection area, allowing those homeowners to purchase federal flood insurance. This legislation benefits both homeowners and the environment. SneakyPete..... 🇺🇸🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸🇺🇸. 11*13*18.....
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Esther's Opinion
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11/14/2018
With climate change, the coastlines will change.
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Ivan's Opinion
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11/14/2018
Our coast lines are dramatically shrinking and receding into the mainline. And the fact of sea level rise caused by global warming. I think that the new map should reflect where the line was of the clothesline and where it is now. With a small notation on how long it took to lose that plot of land. Also, I would love it to Show towns and populations that have had to abandon their homesteads where the shoreline has receded.
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Argument opposed

Moving housing communities currently in the CBRA protection area out and making those homeowners eligible to purchase federal flood protection will likely increase payouts from the federal flood insurance program, as these homes are in flood-prone areas.

Andy1's Opinion
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11/14/2018
Opposed to this as written, but not in theory. We should not be subsidizing, often wealthy, coastal homeowners to stay and keep rebuilding in flood prone areas. Also any updates to coastal mapping should also include predictive modeling of coastal changes due to sea level rise in the coming years and decades.
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Andrea's Opinion
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11/14/2018
Republicans are highly suspect in introducing this bill. They're not acting on behalf of the environment or the people. They are acting in behalf of their corporate donors. There is always a loophole buried deep inside the legalese that helps corporations and harms the public interest.
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Ronald's Opinion
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11/14/2018
"Federal Maps" do not matter Maps are for local people needing directions. Subsidies are as bad idea. Local Governments should control "wetlands" and all issues in their area, not a distant Federal
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed November 16th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 375 Yea / 1 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedMay 15th, 2018

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What is House Bill H.R. 5787?

This bill — the Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2018 — would codify the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) maps revised and digitized as part of the Digital Mapping Pilot Project. It’d also codify three digital maps developed outside the pilot project by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). In effect, this bill would add thousands of acres to the CBRA system along Delaware, North and South Carolina, Florida, and potentially Louisiana by using the latest maps from the Congressionally authorized CBRA Digital Mapping Pilot Project. By revising the CBRS maps for 35 units within the system, it’d add about 18,000 acres to the system, increasing the CBRS’ size by 0.5 percent.

This bill would also make certain coastal communities that are currently ineligible for federal flood insurance able to purchase federal flood insurance by taking these communities out of the CBRA protection area.

Impact

Coastal communities; Delaware; North Carolina; South Carolina; Florida; Louisiana; CBRA; CBRS; and USFWS.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5787

The CBO estimates that updating the CBRS maps would have no significant effect on spending. Since this bill increases the CBRS’ size, it could increase the National Flood Insurance Fund’s premium collections by less than $1 million annually; however, those collections would be roughly offset by new mandatory spending for underwriting, administrative expenses, and new flood insurance claims over the 2019-2028 period. Thus, the bill is largely revenue neutral.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL) introduced this bill to help homeowners access disaster relief funds and preserve thousands of acres of coastline by updating existing coastal barrier maps under the CBRA. After a hearing on this bill before the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Dunn noted this bill’s importance to 198 homes in the coastal barrier system:

“What (the bill) does is it removes 198 homes from the coastal barrier system, which means they can receive a number of federal benefits, including access to federal flood insurance, disaster recovery and federally backed mortgages. If these houses were uninsurable they'd have no resale value at all, so these 198 homeowners would have been literally left with homes that were worth nothing."

Cosponsor Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) calls this bill a common-sense fix that benefits both homeowners and the natural environment:

“The Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2018 is a common-sense fix that grants homeowners...  the ability to access the same federal resources and assistance as others in the event of a natural disaster. I’m proud to introduce a bill that adds hundreds of acres of beach and wetlands to the protected coastal map area… and preserves our state’s natural beauty, while ensuring neighborhoods have access to critical federal benefits.”

Dr. Karen Hyun, The Audubon Society’s vice president of coastal policy, calls this bill an essential conservation initiative for birds and people:

“Conserving coastal environments is not only vital to protecting birds but is also key to preserving local communities and economies along America’s coastline. This bipartisan bill is a good first step, and Audubon thanks Representatives Dunn, Blunt Rochester and Rooney for their leadership on such an important conservation initiative for birds and people. We look forward to working with all members of the House in moving this legislation forward.”

The Audubon Society adds that the new CBRA maps will save taxpayer dollars, improve public safety, make coastal communities more resilient in the face of a changing climate, and protect habitats that support fish, wildlife and coastal economies.

This bill passed the House Committee on Natural Resources on a voice vote with an amendment. It has the support of three cosponsors, including one Democrat and two Republicans, as well as the Audubon Society and USFWS, both of whom spoke at the House Natural Resources Committee hearing on the bill.


Of Note: President Ronald Reagan signed the Coastal Barrier Resources Act into law in 1982. The CBRA prohibits most federal spending on certain undeveloped, high-risk coastal areas, including barrier islands, beaches, and wetland along the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Great Lakes.

In the most recent reauthorization of the CBRA, the Coastal Barrier Resources Reauthorization Act of 2005, Congress directed USFWS to finalize and submit a report on the digitization of CBRA maps. This report, which was submitted to Congress in November 2016, included final recommended boundaries for CBRS units. The recommendations in the report impact maps in Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. Since they’re significant changes to CBRA maps, the report’s recommendations must be codified by Congress in order for them to go into effect.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / GabrielPevide)

AKA

Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2018

Official Title

To amend the Coastal Barrier Resources Act to give effect to more accurate maps of units of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System that were produced by digital mapping of such units, and for other purposes.

    H.R 5787 - The Strengthening Coastal Communities Act I’d recommend and support the passage H.R 5787 - The Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2018 — which would codify the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) maps revised and digitized as part of the Digital Mapping Pilot Project. It’d also codify three digital maps developed outside the pilot project by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). In effect, this bill would add thousands of acres to the CBRA system along Delaware, North and South Carolina, Florida, and potentially Louisiana by using the latest maps from the Congressionally authorized CBRA Digital Mapping Pilot Project. By revising the CBRS maps for 35 units within the system, it’d add about 18,000 acres to the system, increasing the CBRS’ size by 0.5 percent. Updating the maps will protect environmentally sensitive wetlands and coastal areas. It’ll also move housing communities out of the protection area, allowing those homeowners to purchase federal flood insurance. This legislation benefits both homeowners and the environment. SneakyPete..... 🇺🇸🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸🇺🇸. 11*13*18.....
    Like (43)
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    Opposed to this as written, but not in theory. We should not be subsidizing, often wealthy, coastal homeowners to stay and keep rebuilding in flood prone areas. Also any updates to coastal mapping should also include predictive modeling of coastal changes due to sea level rise in the coming years and decades.
    Like (99)
    Follow
    Share
    With climate change, the coastlines will change.
    Like (31)
    Follow
    Share
    Our coast lines are dramatically shrinking and receding into the mainline. And the fact of sea level rise caused by global warming. I think that the new map should reflect where the line was of the clothesline and where it is now. With a small notation on how long it took to lose that plot of land. Also, I would love it to Show towns and populations that have had to abandon their homesteads where the shoreline has receded.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    Republicans are highly suspect in introducing this bill. They're not acting on behalf of the environment or the people. They are acting in behalf of their corporate donors. There is always a loophole buried deep inside the legalese that helps corporations and harms the public interest.
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    "Federal Maps" do not matter Maps are for local people needing directions. Subsidies are as bad idea. Local Governments should control "wetlands" and all issues in their area, not a distant Federal
    Like (16)
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    To understand this bill, one would have to know all kinds of background information about the maps and how they are used with respect to the existing legislation.
    Like (12)
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    As long as it doesn’t give people Carte Blanche to build in coastal areas. The foolish man builds his house upon the sand.
    Like (11)
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    Clean up the coasts while you’re at it.
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    Absolutely. They are horribly out of date. Most are from the 70s. Check out the real map of Louisiana. Every map of the state is a lie.
    Like (7)
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    Coastal areas should not be rebuilt after major disasters, especially with taxpayers money. The maps should be updated because things have changed. Not for insurance purposes. If the insurance companies need this they should pay part of the cost.
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    Yes, w/ climate change, global-warming, more catastrophic storms there will be changes to our shorelines et al
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    Yes, with reservations. Why does this only concern a small number of coastal states? And are we extending coverage to properties that were previously uninsurable because the data says we should...or because of lobbying?
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    Pretty sure google has this covered.
    Like (4)
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    As if coastal movement isn't scary enough, having hard data should help make it clear what is going on.
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    Yes coastal maps need updated. We know the ocean is rising. So we need accurate maps. It will help us see how global warming is affecting our planet. this would help home owners too. Everyone that close to the ocean should be able to get flood insurance.
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    We shouldn't be subsidizing rich coastal communities through flood insurance
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    How much money does the government have to waste before you cause another depression? This one will be worse and cause major changes in America because most Americans don’t know how to fend for themselves anymore
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    Well Put Sneaky Pete! I fully agree!
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    Now especially- we should still be tracking changes and impacts from horizon. Now the hurricane
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