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Entries in oil spill (13)


BP Funds to Benefit Gulf of Mexico Fish and Wildlife

About $2.4 billion of BP’s recent settlement agreement of $4.5 billion will go to benefit fish and wildlife habitats along the Gulf Coast. Those funds will be funneled through the National Fish And Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), an independent non-profit conservation groups chartered by Congress in 1984.

"Ducks Unlimited applauds the decision to direct a significant portion of the settlement funds to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation," DU CEO Dale Hall said.

"NFWF is the appropriate organization to manage these funds and determine how they can best be used to benefit Gulf Coast fish and wildlife and the people who depend on these resources for their livelihood and recreation. NFWF's role in managing these funds is good news for the people and wildlife of the Gulf Coast."

Under this agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, BP pled guilty to several criminal charges for its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, which discharged an estimated 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

“All of us at BP deeply regret the tragic loss of life caused by the Deepwater Horizon accident as well as the impact of the spill on the Gulf coast region,” said Bob Dudley, BP’s Group Chief Executive.

“From the outset, we stepped up by responding to the spill, paying legitimate claims and funding restoration efforts in the Gulf. We apologize for our role in the accident, and as today’s resolution with the U.S. government further reflects, we have accepted responsibility for our actions.”

The $4.5 billion settlement does not resolve penalties that could result from violations of the Clean Water Act. These penalties could range as high as $20 million if BP is found guilty of gross negligence.

To learn more, check out Ducks Unlimited and this BP press release.


Senate Approves Amendment to Help Restore Gulf


Ducks Unlimited photo

Great news! With U.S. Senate approval of an amendment, a huge second step has been taken to ensure that funds from the Clean Water Act and other penalties assessed following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are used to pay for economic and environmental restoration projects in Gulf Coast states. (See Feb. 16 post: Your Help Needed to Ensure Gulf, Delta Restoration.)

In a bipartisan effort, the Senate passed the RESTORE the Gulf Coast States Act as an amendment to the Senate transportation bill. Previously, the House gave voice vote approval of a similar amendment.

"It is so good to see that an outstanding bipartisan boost for conservation can actually occur in this Congress, reaffirming the importance of healthy fish and wildlife resources across this nation,” said Noreen Clough, B.A.S.S. National Conservation Director.

“Senators Nelson, Landrieu, Shelby, and Baucus showed great leadership and stewardship in championing this legislation.  Every one of the more than 500,000 B.A.S.S. members should be celebrating this historic vote for fishing - for habitat restoration, access, infrastructure improvements, and especially for restoration of the ravaged Gulf of Mexico."

The Senate amendment also includes a much needed increase in funding for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides money to federal, state, and local authorities for acquisition of land and water to benefit conservation and recreation.

“This provision would double current funding levels for the fund to $700 for each of the next two years and reauthorize it until 2022, for a total of $1.4 billion,” the American Sportfishing Association said.

Taken together, if the transportation bill with the RESTORE amendment attached should win final passage, these two doses of conservation funding would represent, by some estimates, the largest boost in conservation funding in American history.”

To learn more, read these stories:

Keep America Fishing.

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

Vanishing Paradise.

House approves.


Your Help Needed to Ensure Gulf, Delta Restoration

In two letters to Congress, more than 650 fishing, hunting, and outdoor sporting businesses and organizations have stepped up to help restore the Mississippi River Delta and the Gulf Coast.

Have you?

If not, please do it now. Click here to tell your senators and representatives to support the RESTORE Gulf Coast Act, to ensure that fines paid by BP and other companies go where it is supposed to go --- to restoration.

Without passage of the act, greedy politicians could divert the money to the general fund, where it will disappear into a black hole of waste and political favors.

“The delta has suffered years of damage and is being lost at an alarming rate—a football field of land disappears every hour,” said Land Tawney of Vanishing Paradise (VP).

“The oil spill added insult to injury for this area and the entire Gulf region. Now is the time for Congress to pass the RESTORE Act, to ensure that oil spill fines reach the Gulf, where the latest round of damage was done.”

VP reports that a bipartisan poll this spring showed that 83 percent of voters nationwide support—and 69 percent strongly support—dedicating the Gulf oil spill penalties to restoring the Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast. The poll also showed that an overwhelming majority of conservative voters favor this proposal, including 76 percent of Republicans, and 78 percent of voters who agree with the Tea Party movement.

“Restoring the Gulf and the Mississippi River Delta is an important issue for all sportsmen,” said Mike Iaconelli, 2003 Bassmasters Classic champion.

“Those of us who hunt or fish need to step up and show we care about this issue. The disappearing Mississippi River Delta is not a problem we can’t fix, and Congress has a chance to do what’s right for the Gulf Coast. Now is the time for them to take action.”


Your Help Needed to Ensure Restoration of Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi Delta

As we know all too well, politicians love to spend money --- other people’s money.

Right now, some in Congress are looking enviously at money that should go to restoration of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Delta. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, that’s why BP and other companies paid more than $20 billion, and that’s where the money should be spent.

Yet some representatives and senators would like to put that money into the general fund, which is a black hole of waste and political favors. During these tough economic times, and especially during this election year, these politicians are more concerned about their own careers than they are about doing what’s right.

We can’t let that happen.

That’s why leaders from sportsmen’s groups across the country are going to Washington, D.C., and that’s why your help is needed.

Before our spokesmen get there next week to meet with politicians, please contact your elected representatives and senators, asking them to support the bi-partisan RESTORE Act, which will ensure funds are spent on Gulf and Delta restoration.

“We want to ring their phones and raise awareness for this issue so that when the one-on-one meetings happen next week, they’ll say, ‘Yeah, I’ve been getting calls on this,’” says Recycled Fish’s Teeg Stouffer, one of those going to Washington.

The Vanishing Paradise website can provide you with more information about this. Click “Take Action” for assistance with sending a message or making a phone call.

Also, check out these videos:

Why the RESTORE Act and Gulf restoration are important, no matter where you live.

Fish Schtick interview with Vanishing Paradise spokesmen.

Restoring the Mississippi River Delta.


Congressional Action Needed to Guarantee Proper Use of Oil Spill Money

You would think that it would be a given that money paid as penalties by BP for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would go for recovery of the environment and economy in that area.

But that would be too direct and sensible for those who govern us. Without Congressional action, 100 percent of the billions of dollars in penalties will go into the general treasury. And from there . . . Who knows? Maybe to a solar plant in California or a cowboy poetry festival in Nevada.

That’s why passage of the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act (H.R. 3096) is so important. It specifies that 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties be used for restoration of the Gulf Coast environment and economy.

A companion bill in the Senate has passed out of committee and now awaits a full vote on the floor.

“The RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act represents a thoughtful, fair and state-centric approach that balances both environmental and economic considerations,” said Mike Nussman of the American Sportfishing Association.

“In addition to the bill’s focus on habitat restoration and business recovery, ASA supports the inclusion of a funding mechanism for fisheries data collection and research. Recreational fishing opportunity in the Gulf and throughout the nation faces numerous threats from natural disasters to ever-increasing regulations. It is critically important that we invest in short- and long-term fisheries data collection to help gather the science needed to properly manage fish stocks.”