It’s been a long time since we heard about the Gulf Coast in the mainstream media, but for those that live and work there, the effects of the BP oil spill disaster are a daily reality.
Thankfully, it seems that the lingering consequences of what many called “the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history” aren’t lost on President Obama.
In his recent budget proposal, Obama reinforced his commitment to the Gulf Coast by recommending the first-ever funding for restoration projects to reverse wetlands losses in the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) of the Mississippi River Delta.
The President’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fund LCA restoration is $27 million, including $10.845 million for wetlands feasibility studies, $5.4 million for wetlands pre-construction engineering and design studies, $10.62 million for wetlands construction projects and $100,000 for the LCA comprehensive plan.
Congress has not acted yet on the President’s FY 2011 budget request, which included $35.6 million for the Corps to fund LCA ecosystem restoration, split between $19 million for wetlands construction projects and $16.6 million for wetlands pre-construction engineering and design studies.
“The BP oil disaster shined a spotlight on the national economic importance of restoring the disappearing Louisiana Coastal Area ecosystem, and President Obama’s budget request recognizes this fact,” said a joint statement from several conservation groups, including the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, and National Wildlife Federation.
“In the face of tough budget choices, the President’s budget recognizes that we cannot wait any longer to restore this critical natural and economic resource, and we urge Congress to meet this challenge.”
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