GOMESA Coastal Restoration Funding Maintained in Trump Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

02.16.2018 | In Funding & Policy
By Ryan Chauvin, Digital Marketing and Communications Manager, Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, National Audubon Society

Earlier this week, the Trump Administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal was released, and we are happy to report that the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funding is maintained. While the federal spending bills are actually crafted by the Congress, we expect GOMESA funding to be protected in that process as well. GOMESA, passed by Congress in 2006, set up revenue sharing for Gulf States for income generated by oil and gas leasing in certain offshore areas of the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, Gulf states whose coastal environments are impacted by oil and gas infrastructure such as pipelines and navigation canals receive a fraction of the total federal revenue to help offset some of those impacts.

In Louisiana, GOMESA provides a consistent source of funding to address the land loss crisis. Louisiana officials have made clear commitments to using the state’s share of GOMESA funding for implementing the Coastal Master Plan, and Louisiana voters constitutionally dedicated future revenues from GOMESA to the Coastal Trust Fund.

Coastal restoration and protection is an issue of tremendous importance to all Louisianans, regardless of political party. Our coalition has consistently fought back against any attempts to raid critical coastal funds, including budget proposals by President Trump in 2017 and President Obama in 2016. We will continue advocating for the protection of critical restoration funding in order to move key restoration projects forward with urgency.

Last year, 283 businesses, civic associations, parishes and others joined us to send a letter to the White House, Department of Interior, Council on Environmental Quality and Louisiana’s congressional delegation, urging them to maintain GOMESA funding for Louisiana coastal restoration.

Thank you to everyone who voiced support for protecting GOMESA! The fact that GOMESA is safe in this year’s Presidential budget is great news for restoration efforts in coastal Louisiana. While the funding appears secure for now, we must all remain vigilant to ensure we protect and maintain future funding for Louisiana’s coast.