Groups call on Congressional leaders to fight for GOMESA funding, and other critical programs that protect communities and wetlands
NEW ORLEANS – Earlier today, President Trump unveiled a budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 that would significantly set back coastal restoration and protection efforts in Louisiana. The proposal upends the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), which is a commitment from Congress to share offshore energy revenues with four of the Gulf states that are impacted by its production.
National and local conservation organizations committed to coastal Louisiana restoration – Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – issued the following statement in response:
“We urge our Congressional leaders – particularly those who have experienced extreme weather and mega-storms like Katrina, and who understand that our communities rely on the restoration of wetlands and barrier shorelines for our safety and well-being – to fight this proposal with everything they can.”
“Louisiana is home to a true working coast. Its people and industries feed and fuel our great nation, and rebuilding the coast protects vital national infrastructure. It is disappointing – to say the least – that the White House would leave Louisiana behind in this budget proposal. We look now to our Congressional leaders to make this right moving forward.”
Under the law, Louisiana receives a percentage of GOMESA revenue generated in waters off the State’s coast – expected to reach hundreds of millions of dollars each year – every dollar of which is dedicated under the State’s constitution to protect and restore coastal Louisiana and the Mississippi River Delta.
Additionally, the budget would cut funding to other regionally-based programs such as the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program, the EPA National Estuary Program, the EPA Lake Pontchartrain Restoration Program, the NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserves, the state Coastal Zone Management Programs, and the state Sea Grant Programs – all of which support restoration efforts throughout Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast.
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