For Immediate Release, June 6, 2012
Contact: Rose Braz, (510) 435-6809, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gulfport Supports Clean Air Act, Joins National Call for Climate Change Action
Florida City Faces Threats from Extreme Weather, Rising Seas
GULFPORT, Fla.— Gulfport has joined Tampa and more than two dozen other U.S. cities in supporting the use of the Clean Air Act to protect public health and reduce greenhouse gas pollution to head off irreversible, catastrophic climate change. Through a resolution approved Tuesday night, Gulfport is the 26th city to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign, which urges President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to take action on global warming through the Clean Air Act. Tampa approved a similar resolution May 3, joining Pinecrest, the first Florida city to pass a Clean Air Cities resolution.
“By passing this resolution, Gulfport recognizes the gravity of the global climate crisis and supports one key solution: the Clean Air Act,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Cities around the country, from Seattle to Tampa — and now Gulfport — have spoken out with an urgent message to our national leaders: To avert a climate catastrophe, we need to act now.”
Florida is particularly vulnerable to climate change, which could harm its citrus crops, flood coastal areas like Gulfport and damage beautiful beaches and other environmental treasures that sustain the state’s tourism industry. Florida has 1,200 miles of coastline, and more than 75 percent of the state’s population lives in coastal counties.
Tampa Bay’s sea level has been rising steadily for more than 50 years, according to tidal gauge information. Rising sea levels and retreating shorelines will leave the Tampa Bay area more vulnerable to hurricanes, and salt water intrusion from sea-level rise could endanger aquifers used for water supplies, according to a 2008 report from the Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change.
The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and urging its use to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say we need to reach to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Similar resolutions have been approved in Tampa and Pinecrest, Fla.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Chicago, Seattle, Wash.; Kansas City, Mo.; Albany, N.Y.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Penn.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Cambridge, Mass.; Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., and Arcata, Richmond, Berkeley, Oxnard, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica, Calif. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.