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David Jolly, Patrick Murphy Launch Coastal Communities Caucus

February 22, 2015 - 6:00pm

The Coastal Communities Caucus is launching in Congress with two Florida congressmen helping organize the new group. The new caucus will focus on issues facing Americans who live on Americas coastlines.

U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., announced on Monday they were two of the eight founders of the caucus. The two Florida congressmen offered their reasons why the new group was needed.

Communities across the country face unique opportunities and challenges by living and working along our nation's coastlines, Jolly said on Monday. From prestorm mitigation to flood insurance, to critical marine and shore habitats, to weather-related disaster, erosion, and tourism -- these are not partisan issues, nor are they confined to only one coastal community. In an effort to best advocate in the United States Congress for communities along our Gulf, Atlantic, and Pacific coasts, I have joined with my colleagues who represent these districts to form a bipartisan, bicoastal Congressional Coastal Communities Caucus to give a unified voice to our districts and advocate for our unique community needs in a unified, bipartisan manner.

The people that live, work and recreate on the coast face specific needs and challenges, and that is why the Coastal Communities Caucus is so important, Murphy said. Whether its tackling flood insurance, protecting our regions from natural disasters, dealing with sea-level rises or preserving coastal ecology, this coalition of members will help to represent the key needs of our constituents.

Other founders of the group include Republican U.S. Reps. Bradley Byrne of Alabama, Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey and David Rouzer of North Carolina. Democrats helping launch the new caucus include U.S. Rep. Lois Capps of California, Denny Heck of Washington and Frank Pallone of New Jersey.

With the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay and River surrounding my district on three sides, I know firsthand the issues unique to coastal communities and the residents who call them home, LoBiondo said on Monday. From beach erosion and environmental restoration to tourism, these populous areas often serve as economic drivers for their states. I look forward to working with my colleagues to promote economic growth and long-term sustainability of the nations coastal communities.

I am excited to be a co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Coastal Communities Caucus, Byrne said. Whether it is the shores of Washington, the Gulf Coast of Alabama, or the New Jersey beaches, all of our coastal communities share similar concerns. I know this caucus will give a voice to our coastal communities and provide a great venue to collaborate on the unique issues that impact our coastal areas.

Jolly plans to speak about the new caucus and coastal issues during a speech at the American Shore & Beach Preservation Associations Coastal Summit in Washington, D.C., this week. The Coastal Summit starts on Tuesday and runs through Thursday. Jolly is scheduled to speak on Wednesday.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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