House Appropriations Interior Chair Pingree Hosts Congressional Delegation Tour of Acadia National Park to Study Climate Impacts
Pingree led US Reps. Quigley, Barragán, and Kuster on a three-day tour of Acadia National Park, where they analyzed the effects of climate change on the National Park’s flora and fauna
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK– Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Vice-Chair of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC) and Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, today concluded a three-day climate impact tour of Acadia National Park where she hosted U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), and Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH). The U.S. House members met with Acadia’s lead scientists at the Schoodic Institute, and discussed the threat of climate change and other environmental concerns at America’s favorite national park.
DOWNLOAD HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOS OF THE MEMBER TOUR HERE.
The members visited a number of locations throughout Acadia National Park to observe the park’s transportation planning and congestion management; unique flora and fauna preservation; invasive plant mitigation efforts; and a vegetation restoration project atop Cadillac Mountain.
On the tour, Pingree noted that Acadia’s plant communities have already changed dramatically, with one in five of the species documented a century ago by the Champlain Society no longer found in the park. And while our forests are likely to adapt over time with a new mix of species, these transitions can be disruptive.
“The recent hurricanes, wildfires, and floods that caused nationwide havoc serve as an alarming wake-up call: Climate change is real, and it’s happening before our eyes. As we saw over the last three days, the climate crisis is affecting our beautiful national parks and the irreplaceable species that inhabit these areas,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “As Chair of House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, I have advocated for greater federal investment to preserve our parks and public lands as officials grapple with extreme weather changes caused by the climate crisis. As one of the 10 most visited national parks in the country, Acadia needs our support to remain a place where generations of Americans can continue to appreciate its unique natural beauty. It is critical that Congress take immediate, comprehensive action to address the climate crisis.”
“Every step of this week’s tour made it clearer than ever that we are experiencing the impacts of climate change right now. If we don’t act soon and decisively, the next generation will not have the same national treasures to visit that we do today,” said Congressman Mike Quigley. “From the beauty of Acadia’s coastline to its native vegetation, we stand to lose too much if our nation fails to tackle the climate crisis. That’s why it is so important that we pass President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, including his critical initiatives on climate change. After seeing the beauty of Acadia it has never been more obvious to me that climate action cannot wait.”
“Climate change is already having an alarming impact across the country — from our own neighborhoods to our iconic National Parks,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “This trip was a valuable opportunity to see firsthand how the National Park Service is working to mitigate the climate crisis at Acadia, one of New England’s greatest treasures. Last year, I was proud to help enact the Great American Outdoors Act to protect our public lands, and I’m excited to work with the Biden administration to proactively advance clean energy in America and ensure 30% of all our lands and waters are preserved for future generations.”
“It was fascinating to learn that our parks are now focused on ‘climate triage’ because of how dramatically climate change has impacted native plants and wildlife. Rangers are now introducing plant species that can survive warmer temperatures and increased rainfall. The focus is on how they can maintain a healthy ecosystem in extreme weather,” said Congresswoman Barragán, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Climate Task Force. “Representing a coastal community, I was particularly interested in hearing from experts about the impact of sea level rise on Thunder Hole and our coasts. We need to invest in climate solutions to save our parks, our coasts, and our communities all across the country.”
In January, Pingree was elected to serve as House Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chair where she oversees discretionary spending for the Department of the Interior, including the National Parks Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, US Forest Service, and several agencies related to the arts and humanities.
The U.S. House of Representatives Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC) was founded in January 2009, at the start of the 111th Congress, to be a focused, active, and effective advocate for policies for clean energy innovation and job creation, environmental protection, and policies that will address global climate change. In the 117th Congress, Pingree and Quigley serve among SEEC’s Vice Chairs.