May 02, 2018

Hirono, Nine Senators Call for Preservation of USGS Climate Adaptation Science Centers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono led nine Senators in urging Senate appropriators to provide full funding to the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National and Regional Climate Adaptation Centers and requested that all eight regional centers across the country, including at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, be maintained.

“Without sustained funding for the eight regional Centers to translate science into actionable information, data, and tools for natural resource managers and partners to utilize for decision-making, America’s lands, economy, infrastructure, and ecosystems will be ill-equipped to deal with the challenges presented by climate extremes,” the Senators wrote. “We support the reputable and important work of the Centers and because of their value and substantial return-on-investment, we request that you provide full funding and maintain the eight regional Centers.”

“The Climate Adaptation Science Centers are critical for linking the federal resources and expertise within the Department of the Interior to the University enterprise in helping to address the national, regional and local needs of resource managers facing the impacts of a changing climate,” Dr. Darren T. Lerner, University Consortium Director of the Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center said. “This is especially important in Hawaii, where it will take an all hands on deck approach to help communities prevent, adapt, and recover our islands from the climate-related impacts we’re seeing today and into the future.”

Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) also signed the letter. 

The National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers provide critical data on climate-related vulnerabilities in order to assist federal and state officials, as well as natural resources managers in protecting natural resources across the country. The Trump administration’s budget proposed drastically reducing the number of Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers from eight to three and cutting funding by nearly half of the $25 million currently available for the centers.

Click here to download a copy of the letter.