PROTECTING AMERICAN WORKING WATERFRONTS -- (House of Representatives - June 10, 2009)
(Ms. PINGREE of Maine asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Mr. Speaker, coastal communities across this Nation are in trouble. In Maine and in other coastal States, working waterfronts and the jobs they provide are quickly disappearing.
Working waterfronts include commercial fishing, boatyards and other businesses who need access to the water. Once these businesses close, once the waterfront stops supporting these businesses, history shows us they do not come back.
Recently, I introduced the Keep America's Waterfronts Working Act of 2009. This bill will help communities acquire permanent access to the water and develop programs to protect working waterfronts and the jobs they provide, the backbone of our coastal communities.
A report released this week, the ``State of the U.S. Ocean and Coastal Economies,'' coauthored by Professor Charlie Colgan from the University of Southern Maine, found that coastal counties contributed 42 percent of the national economic output in 2007, and working waterfronts are critical to supporting this economy.
We must protect working waterfronts and the jobs they provide. I would like to thank my colleagues for joining together to protect working waterfronts, and I look forward to working together to move this legislation through Congress.