Wicker Secures Commitment From NOAA Nominee on COASTAL Act

Miss. Senator’s Proposed Update to 2012 Law Would Ensure Fair Compensation for Homeowners After Severe Storms

November 29, 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, today questioned Barry Myers, President Trump’s nominee to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and the Atmosphere.

Wicker asked the nominee about his plan to implement the Consumer Option for an Alternative System to Allocate Losses (COASTAL) Act. Introduced by Senator Wicker and signed into law on July 6, 2012, the COASTAL Act was designed to ensure coastal property owners receive fair compensation after devastating storms like Hurricane Katrina. The law would lower costs to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by requiring NOAA to produce more detailed “post storm assessments” that can aid insurance adjusters in determining compensation levels for homeowners in the wake of major tropical cyclones that strike U.S. territory. The COASTAL Act is still not fully implemented, which led Wicker to introduce the COASTAL Implementation Act of 2017 (S. 2093). This bill would allow NOAA to better comply the 2012 law.

Wicker also asked the nominee to work with him to advance marine aquaculture initiatives. Wicker has been a champion for U.S. domestic aquaculture producers, introducing legislation targeted at better data collection and fisheries management. NOAA would be a key part of any future legislation.

Mr. Myers also committed to advancing the use of unmanned maritime systems with NOAA.