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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Climate change, development threaten Maine’s working waterfronts

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Monday, February 19, 2024   

Reintroduced federal legislation aims to preserve Maine's iconic, working waterfronts still recovering from recent powerful storms.

Strong winds and record-high tides damaged thousands of businesses and historic buildings last month.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said the bill would provide funding for improvement projects to protect fishing, boatbuilding and other jobs so vital to coastal towns.

"Congress must act to protect our working waterfronts and the more than 30,000 Mainers and 2.3 million Americans who rely on marine-related industries for their livelihoods," Pingree emphasized.

Pingree pointed out the bill would create a Working Waterfronts Task Force at the Department of Commerce to prioritize funding needs for coastal communities as they grapple with the climate crisis.

The demand for coastal property and the development of offshore wind energy is affecting working waterfronts nationwide and limiting public access to coastal areas. Pingree noted out of 5,000 miles of Maine coastline, just about 20 miles of commercially active waterfronts remain.

"When fishermen must grapple with the loss of wharves, processing facilities and other essential infrastructure, in addition to navigating the challenge of climate change, it threatens the very survival of our communities," Pingree stressed.

The historic damage to Maine's coastline spurred Gov. Janet Mills to call a special meeting of the Maine Climate Council last month to find ways the state can better protect infrastructure and build climate resilience.

Pingree added her legislation would enable coastal states, tribes and communities to determine what kinds of working waterfront projects are most important to them.


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