Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) released the following statement on inclusion of his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act directing the Secretary of Defense to make fortifying our military installations against the threat of flooding and sea level rise a top priority.

The Crist Amendment, approved by the House earlier this year, and protected in the final conference agreement coming to the floor today, would require the military to work with agencies that track climate change, like NOAA and NASA, to incorporate flooding and sea level rise projections into their plans for building new military installations and fortifying current ones. The NDAA conference agreement is slated to be voted on by the House today and is expected to be signed into law before the new year.

“Inclusion of this requirement will make America safer by fortifying bases like MacDill Air Force Base against rising sea levels and other impacts from climate change,” said Rep. Crist. “If we are not planning for sea level rise, we’re putting national security and military readiness at risk. My amendment will strengthen American security assets from the threat of climate change, making bases and Pinellas families safer.”

“We appreciate Congressman Crist's leadership on this important issue and applaud his commitment to protecting Florida's military communities from flooding and sea level rise,” said Melissa Roberts, President & Executive Director of American Flood Coalition Action. “With six of the ten Air Force installations most vulnerable to severe weather located in Florida, including Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base, it is critical that the Department of Defense takes into account sea level rise projections when building and strengthening our military installations.”

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