The Nature Conservancy today expressed its support of a report released by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, which calls for a targeted blueprint for prompt action to restore the vital and threatened resources of the Gulf Coast. The Nature Conservancy, along with a coalition of NGO partners, played an integral role in recommendations made in the report.
The Task Force report comes on the same day that members of the House of Representatives introduced legislation that could provide funding support for Gulf ecosystem restoration.
“We applaud the hard work of the Task Force and its efforts to take immediate action on Gulf restoration,” said Cindy Brown, Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program at The Nature Conservancy. “We are encouraged by the report and by progress in both the House and Senate to invest potential fines from the oil spill back in the Gulf. There is still much work to be done, but today marked two significant steps forward. We look forward to working with the Gulf delegation and other members of Congress and the administration to rebuild the Gulf and to ensure a healthy and prosperous future for its people.”
The Task Force report identifies critical issues that demand immediate attention to Gulf restoration and outlines a broad strategy to reverse the ecological losses in this area. These issues include:
The report also urges that fines from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill be dedicated to restoring the communities, environment and economy of the Gulf of Mexico. The RESTORE Act (S. 1400), recently passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, would require this allocation of Clean Water Act penalties. The House bill introduced today would similarly capture potential Clean Water Act fines for restoration. It was introduced by Representatives Steve Scalise (R-LA), Pete Olson (R-TX) and Jo Bonner (R-AL) and has bipartisan support from 23 members of Congress including representatives from all five Gulf Coast states.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.