Ducks Unlimited urges President Obama and his Administration to accelerate implementation and funding of existing Gulf Coast restoration plans. In his speech to the nation from The Oval Office last night, the President declared, “…it’s clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region…that’s why we must make a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment.”
DU encourages the Administration to rapidly move forward with coastal restoration work planned under Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, and also the Louisiana Coastal Area Plan, which includes planned but presently unfunded restoration projects authorized under WRDA of 2007. Such work includes a variety of restoration projects that can help coastal wetlands recover from oil spill impacts and other impacts that have occurred over decades.
“There are many projects for which design could be accelerated, and many that are on the shelf ready for implementation,” said Dr. Tom Moorman, DU’s lead scientist for the Gulf Coast. “Some of this work awaits only funding and could begin as soon as tomorrow.”
The Gulf Coast region is of vital importance to North America’s migratory waterfowl and other wetland dependent birds, wintering as many as 13 million ducks in some years. The livelihood of many of the region’s residents depends upon the renewable natural resources provided by coastal wetlands, including commercial and recreational fisheries. The region also provides more than 250,000 waterfowl hunter days each year.
“Restoration of the region’s fragile wetlands and waterfowl habitats is essential and we urge the Administration to ensure that coastal restoration planning and implementation is accelerated to benefit the region’s people and the waterfowl and other wildlife that depend on these wetlands,” Dr. Moorman said.
Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.