At a legislative markup yesterday in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy pressed for increased funding to restore the Mississippi River Delta and the Louisiana coast.
The Cassidy amendment, like legislation passed by a key House committee just two weeks ago, amends the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) to increase the share of offshore energy dollars reinvested in much-needed restoration action on the coast.
Regarding this, Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of national and local conservation organizations committed to coastal Louisiana restoration including Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation issued the following statement:
“We thank Senator Cassidy for his efforts to expand urgently-needed funding to restore the Louisiana coast and the Mississippi River Delta. The land loss crisis here poses ever-increasing risks to this uniquely important ecosystem and the communities, wildlife and economies that depend on it.”
“In response to this problem, Louisiana has committed itself – through an amendment to the state’s constitution – to dedicate all of the offshore energy revenue it receives through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act solely to its Coastal Trust Fund for coastal restoration, protection and resilience guided by the state’s comprehensive Coastal Master Plan. While these current funds play a crucial role in restoration efforts, much more will be needed to address the urgency and truly daunting scale of this nationally significant challenge.”
“Our nation’s public lands, waters and wildlife all need improved stewardship and additional funding investments. As Congress considers new ways of distributing offshore energy receipts, we look forward to working with Congress to promote restoration and resiliency for Louisiana’s remarkable coastal ecosystem.”