Taking Climate Impacts to Congress

This year’s hurricane season has just begun, and already it’s exposing our communities’ vulnerability to storms. Flash flooding. Power outages. Inundated subways and washed-out train lines. Millions of gallons of raw sewage overflowing into streets and basements. All of which you documented. And it’s expected to get worse with climate change.

So we’re talking to the people who can fix that.

On July 22, our president Curt Johnson visited Washington, D.C. at the invitation of Senator Chris Murphy, speaking to U.S. Senators and Representatives about what Connecticut and New York experienced earlier this month.

Watch video of the full event, hosted by Climate Power and the League of Conservation Voters, or skip to Curt’s and Senator Murphy’s remarks.

It’s a crucial time: senators are considering a massive, bipartisan infrastructure bill that can help our communities prepare for storms like Elsa. You can help by making sure your senators hear Curt’s message–our action form makes it easy to share your storm story.

Read more in our joint press release, below.


WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, and Curt Johnson, President of Save the Sound, on Thursday joined Climate Power and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) for a press conference on Capitol Hill about the human toll of climate-fueled extreme weather and the urgency of action. Murphy and Johnson focused on climate change’s impact in Connecticut and how it has affected coastal resiliency in the state.

“In Connecticut, we sit on top of a multi-trillion dollar asset, Long Island Sound. It powers our economy, it defines the culture of our state. There is no more important economic and ecological asset to our state than the Long Island Sound. But the Long Island Sound is warming at a rate four times that of the ocean by which it sits with grave consequences for our state,” said Murphy. “[T]his is existential to our state—so reliant on a Long Island Sound, whose waters are rising, whose temperatures are increasing, and which presents an enormous threat to the majority of Connecticut’s population, which lives right on that body of water. So I’m really glad to have with us today, somebody who has led the fight on raising awareness about the effects of climate change on Long Island Sound, my great friend from Save the Sound, Curt Johnson.”

“If you described to me 30 years ago the kind of extreme heat and wildfires, and the resulting soot and asthma rates, that we’re hearing about today, I would’ve thought you were out of your mind—but now it’s threatening all of our lives every day,” said Johnson. “Just a couple weeks ago here in Connecticut, a minimum of 89 million gallons of raw sewage mixed with polluted stormwater entered our rivers during Tropical Storm Elsa. If another country dumped that in our waters, there would be war. But we’re doing it to ourselves, by our failure to stop the climate crisis that’s causing extreme storms and our failure to maintain the sewage pipe infrastructure that protects our health and environment.”

Johnson continued: “We have to take action now. Action to fix the pipes, to build green infrastructure that captures stormwater, to restore our vibrant coastal marshes that absorb waves. And bold action to cut the climate emissions that are behind this devastation. Thanks to Senator Murphy and our entire Congressional delegation for fighting for two essential federal infrastructure and climate bills needed to save our way of life today. Congress and our state leaders must prioritize clean transportation, clean energy, justice, and public health. Our todays and tomorrows depend on it.” 

As Chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Murphy oversees funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which funds projects to mitigate the effects of natural disasters, such as making coastline more resilient. Murphy has been vocal about supporting resilience projects that would help coastal communities combat climate change and rebuild the economy, including sending a letter earlier this year to President Joe Biden. 


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