President’s Budget Maintains Commitment to Funding Gulf Coast Restoration
On Monday (Feb. 14), five conservation groups praised President Obama for maintaining his commitment to Gulf Coast restoration by recommending the first-ever funding to construct wetlands 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 (see page 23). 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 President’s proposed investments are part of a larger effort that focuses the expertise and resources of a broad spectrum of federal agencies — including the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Geological Survey — on the critical restoration needs on the Gulf Coast.
Read more in the joint statement from the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Environmental Defense Fund, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, National Audubon Society, and National Wildlife Federation.