If you like salmon, you're going to worry about this: Fifteen species of Oregon salmon are in danger of extinction due to loss of habitat. And this habitat loss has historically been enabled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA subsidizes insurance for homes and businesses built in flood plains. That makes it cost effective to build in a flood zone that's basically unbuildable. And these flood zones are important habitat for salmon reproduction.
It's not just salmon who are in danger, either. Oregon's majestic killer whales and steelhead are also in imminent danger from overbuilding.
FEMA is now endeavoring to do the right thing and limit development in important species habitats. But the agency is coming up against some really short-sighted opposition from local land rights groups. The guidelines are good, they reflect best practices recommended by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Please join me in asking FEMA to move ahead with the new guidelines which incorporate NOAA recommendations.
I'm appalled to learn that local communities actually oppose species protection in Oregon. Oregon is blessed with many natural resources, some of which go into the nation's food supply. Salmon and steelhead are at risk from coastal plain development, as you know and have been warned by NOAA. Oregon's orcas are also at risk from reckless development. Please protect Oregon's flood plains. I urge you to move ahead with the new guidelines which incorporate NOAA recommendations.