Chair Grijalva Cheers House Passage of Ocean Conservation and Research Provisions in National Defense Bill

Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement on House passage of several provisions to protect and conserve oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes in the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

A full list of the FY23 NDAA Natural Resources Committee provisions and their respective section numbers are available here.

“Climate change is not just an existential threat to our planet, our health, and frontline communities—climate-fueled natural disasters put our national security at risk as well,” Chair Grijalva said. “Our oceans, which absorb nearly a quarter of our carbon emissions, are critical to addressing this crisis. Protecting the natural ecology and biodiversity of oceans, coastlines, and Great Lakes must be at the top of our national priority list.

“More than a third of Americans lives in coastal counties, but whether you live on the coasts or not, we all benefit from what our oceans provide, from the air we breathe to the food we eat to the goods and services we use every day. This historic bipartisan package of ocean bills is a win for all. I’m grateful to my colleagues on and off the Committee for joining me in passing these important ocean-based climate solutions and I look forward to seeing them become law.”

The FY23 NDAA provisions include the following Natural Resources Committee priorities, among others:

  • Prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and forced labor.
  • Amend the Coral Reef Conservation Act to restore reefs and increase their resiliency.
  • Bolster long-term understanding and exploration of the Great Lakes, oceans, bays, and estuaries.
  • Enhance marine mammal research, response, and conservation.
  • Eliminate shark fin sales in the United States.
  • Study the impacts of 6PPD-quinone, a toxin commonly used to manufacture tires, on salmon and watersheds.
  • Support ocean and coastal mapping, hydrographic surveys, and spatial data collection for enhanced ocean exploration.
  • Provide additional support for regional ocean partnerships to help coordinate interstate management.