The joint budget committee of the Louisiana state legislature held a hearing last week to discuss the state’s mid-year budget cuts to reduce a budget deficit.
Proposed cuts include a more than $6 million reduction of the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s budget – more than seven percent of the agency’s total budget.
“Coastal restoration dollars are for building wetlands and protecting communities – not filling budget gaps,” the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition said.
“At this definitive point in our state’s history, when we have the opportunity to leverage dollars from the BP settlement to make significant progress on coastal restoration, cutting the coastal restoration budget is shortsighted and dangerous.”
“Instead of selling coastal restoration efforts short, lawmakers should use the state’s ‘rainy day’ fund for its intended purpose – balancing the budget. Our coastal restoration dollars must be protected as if our future depends on it, because it certainly does,” concluded the Coalition, comprised of national and regional conservation groups Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.