Landrieu: Targeted Barrier Plan a Significant First Step

May 29, 2010

Senator calls on federal government to enhance proposal by accelerating revenue sharing, advancing coastal restoration projects, expediting CIAP funds.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., today welcomed the announcement from Admiral Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander for the BP oil spill, that the federal government has approved a 30-mile portion of the State of Louisiana’s barrier plan to help stop oil from further penetrating Louisiana’s marshes and wetlands.

Sen. Landrieu said:

“This targeted approach is a significant and achievable first step toward minimizing damage to Louisiana’s coast. It is clear that the Coast Guard and Corps have listened to the united voice of our Congressional Delegation and local leaders who know that cleaning oil from a sandy beach is a lot easier than removing it from the maze of wetlands. We cannot afford further delay. Many parts of our marches are already coated with a thick, brown sludge, which is threatening the way of life of millions of people along the Gulf Coast.

“But implementing this barrier plan is only an interim step. These temporary, targeted barriers serve as a first line of defense against the oil, but they will be built in vain if we do not advance a long-term coastal restoration plan. The federal government now needs to step up and approve proposals to get funding into the hands of the State of the Louisiana for coastal protection projects. Accelerating revenue sharing to begin immediately, expediting Coastal Impact Assistance Program grants that are tangled in red tape, and giving the Corps the authority to use dredging materials for this sand barrier plan are absolutely critical to saving our coast from this unprecedented disaster.

“The people of Louisiana can no longer afford finger pointing and empty promises. We need action. Approving this Gulf Coast disaster aid package will give coastal communities the resources they need right now.”

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