SJR 25: Recommending that certain federal funding restrictions be eased so that more villages in Alaska would qualify for assistance relating to flooding and erosion.
00 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 25 01 Recommending that certain federal funding restrictions be eased so that more villages in 02 Alaska would qualify for assistance relating to flooding and erosion. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS Alaska is bordered by the Pacific and Arctic Oceans along 33,000 miles 05 of coastline, and an estimated 12,000 rivers flow across the state, providing an abundant 06 source of food, jobs, and recreational opportunities; and 07 WHEREAS many Alaska communities have been established near these bodies of 08 water, affording easier commerce and access, but also increasing the chances that lives and 09 property can be threatened by erosion and floods; and 10 WHEREAS the United States General Accounting Office published a report in 11 December 2003 entitled, "Alaska Native Villages: Most Are Affected by Erosion, but Few 12 Qualify for Federal Assistance," in which the office reported that 184 communities in the state 13 experience some level of erosion and flooding; and 14 WHEREAS the General Accounting Office finds that villages that seek funding for 15 projects to address flooding and erosion from the United States Army Corps of Engineers 16 often fail to qualify for assistance because economic costs exceed the expected benefits under
01 the applicable guidelines; and 02 WHEREAS the General Accounting Office finds that four communities--Kivalina, 03 Koyukuk, Newtok, and Shishmaref--"are in imminent danger from flooding and erosion and 04 are making plans to relocate" at a cost of several hundred million dollars; and 05 WHEREAS the General Accounting Office describes the relocation process as 06 "daunting" and recommends that the United States Congress consider alternatives that would 07 enhance existing federal programs for control and prevention of erosion and flooding; and 08 WHEREAS the General Accounting Office suggests that the federal government 09 should consider waiving cost-sharing requirements for some projects and should authorize the 10 bundling of funds from various federal agencies to help endangered communities; and 11 WHEREAS many communities in the state that are endangered by erosion and floods 12 have a wealth of public investments that should be protected, including schools, roads, 13 airports, harbors, military installations, and communications facilities; 14 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the federal government to 15 ease the strict cost and benefit analysis rules associated with federal assistance for flood and 16 erosion damage, as discussed by the United States General Accounting Office in its report, 17 and expeditiously move to help communities in the state that are threatened by erosion and 18 flooding. 19 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable John Paul Woodley, Jr., 20 Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works); the Honorable P. Lynn Scarlett, Assistant 21 Secretary, Policy Management and Budget, U.S. Department of the Interior; the Honorable 22 Michael Liu, Assistant Secretary, Public and Indian Housing, U.S. Department of Housing 23 and Urban Development; and the Honorable Jeffrey Staser, Federal Co-Chair, Denali 24 Commission; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. 25 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 26 delegation in Congress.