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Capps Recognized for Environmental Protection Efforts

Congresswoman receives the Coastal States Organization's Distinguished Service Award

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, was recognized this week for her efforts to protect coastal resources by the Coastal States Organization, a group representing the nation’s governors of 35 coastal states and territories.

Capps was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Service Award at CSO’s annual meeting, held this year in Monterey on the occasion of the organization’s 40th anniversary. The organization honors legislators who have dedicated time, energy and resources to protect the nation’s coasts and oceans, and to assist states in their efforts to manage their coastal resources.

“This award means a lot to me because protecting our environment has always been one of my highest priorities. It was just over 40 years ago that the public outcry surrounding the Santa Barbara oil spill ignited a nationwide environmental movement, bringing national attention to the fragility of the ocean and of coastal communities and leading Congress to pass several pieces of historic legislation, including the Coastal Zone Management Act,” Capps said. “The BP spill in the Gulf reminds us once again of the substantial pressures and significant environmental challenges facing our ocean and coasts. Now, more than ever, we need a coordinated approach for the protection of our ocean and coastal resources.”

“CSO is honored to work with Congresswoman Capps, a distinguished leader, on her continued efforts to adopt legislation to assist states in managing coastal resources,” CSO Executive Director Kristen Fletcher. “She serves as a champion for the coasts around the nation but especially in her home district in California.”

Among her many efforts on environmental and coast protection issues, this year Capps led congressional efforts in support of President Barack Obama’s National Ocean Policy and coastal and marine spatial planning initiatives.

Capps also introduced legislation to protect and manage coastal and ocean resources, including the Coastal State Renewable Energy Promotion Act (House Resolution 1690) and the Coastal State Climate Change Planning Act (H.R. 1905), which would assist coastal states in identifying areas suitable for environmentally sound offshore energy projects and in combating the threat of climate change impacts to coastal areas and infrastructure respectively.

— Randolph Harrison is the chief of staff for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

 

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