Congressman Cohen Attends Natural Resources Committee Hearing on the Impact of Climate Change on Insular Areas

March 4, 2021
Press Release


MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today attended his first hearing of the Committee on Natural Resources that he joined in January. The hearing, which he attended remotely, was on Discussion Draft of the Insular Area Climate Change Act.  The insular areas of the United States are territories that do not belong to one of the 50 states, and include Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

In his remarks, Congressman Cohen noted his interest in serving on the Committee and spoke of a fact-finding trip he made with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last February to see the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the region.

He said in part:

“Climate change is one of the reasons I wanted to be on this committee and protection of our water and oceans and, of course, that would be our insular areas…We need to be concerned about the effects the climate will have on those islands and all the islands of the United States.”

Today’s hearing witnesses were:

  • His Excellency Gerald M. Zackios – Ambassador to the U.S., Republic of the Marshall Islands;
  • Ms. Ada Monzón - President, EcoExploratorio – Puerto Rico Science Museum;
  • Mr. Jean-Pierre L. Oriol - Commissioner - USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources;
  • Mr. Rafael A. Machargo Maldonado - Secretary, Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources;
  • Ms. Zena Grecni – Sustained Climate Assessment Specialist, East-West Center; and
  • Dr. Austin Shelton – Director, University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability.