Source: National Audobon Society
President Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget released Feb. 1 asked Congress to fund coastal wetlands restoration in Louisiana. For this is the first time a presidential budget has included this request. The president’s budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides $35.6 million for Gulf Coast restoration. That’s also including $19 million for wetlands construction projects. Also and $16.6 million for wetlands pre-construction studies. The budget for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also provides $5 million for Gulf Coast restoration.
“We applaud President Obama for including funds to restore Louisiana’s coastal wetlands in his fiscal year 2011 budget. These wetlands are vitally important for birds and other wildlife, for human well-being, and for our national economy, and we all stand to gain from swift, decisive action to halt their alarming and rapid disappearance.
“Audubon staff in Washington, D.C., and in Louisiana – and our partners at Environmental Defense Fund and National Wildlife Federation – have been working closely with key administrative officials at all levels of government to secure a strong federal investment in Louisiana coastal wetlands restoration. This year, we feel that we’ve been successful because for the first time, the president has asked Congress to fund authorized restoration programs and further scientific analysis in coastal Louisiana.
“The president’s request is one of only two new starts included in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers budget. One which experienced a 10 percent decrease overall. Though the request is relatively small. However it sets an important precedent. For it is a crucial first step toward saving and restoring one of our nation’s largest and most important wetland ecosystems.