WASHINGTON – The House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) on March 7 announced the launch of their Nature and Oceans Task Force, which will be led by SEEC Co-Chair Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) and Natural Resources Parks Subcommittee Chair Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.). 

The SEEC Nature and Oceans Task Force will work closely with congressional colleagues, experts, and the Biden Administration to harness the power of public lands and waters in the fight against the climate crisis.

“From wildfires and hurricanes to severe flooding and record heatwaves, each of our districts has seen first-hand the devastating consequences of climate change,” said Matsui. “As co-chair of SEEC, I work every day with my colleagues to take a full-systems approach to critical climate and clean energy policies. 

“Natural climate solutions and the restoration of our oceans and public lands are central components to these comprehensive solutions. Many natural climate solutions do not require technological innovation, but instead harness the power of the natural world around us. Just one tree can sequester over one ton of carbon during its lifetime and coastal ecosystems such as mangroves can sequester four times more carbon than rainforests. 

“That is why it is up to all of us to make sure that we develop the policies needed to expand and magnify that kind of transformative impact. I am pleased to work with Congressman Neguse and all of my fellow task force members to make this vision a reality.”

“There is no denying that the conservation of our public lands is inextricably linked to climate action,” said Neguse. “I am thrilled to join with a wide array of my colleagues as co-chair of the SEEC Nature and Oceans Task Force to discuss and advance best practices in combatting the most existential threat of our time, climate change.”

The Nature and Oceans Task Force will focus on actions that prioritize natural climate solutions (NCS) – the conversation, restoration, and management of our lands and waters. As the nation continues to face a nature and biodiversity crisis, the task force will tackle these issues with legislative efforts targeted towards reaching the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

The National Academy of Sciences reported that NCS can help combat these twin threats and deliver up to a third of the emission reductions needed by 2030.

Members of the task force include Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Jared Huffman (D-Petaluma), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara), Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.).

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