Landrieu Invites Sec. Mabus to La. to Meet with Coastal Restoration Stakeholders

June 22, 2010

Senator outlines key principles for a successful long-term “Gulf Coast Restoration Plan.”

(Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., today invited Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, to Louisiana to meet with coastal restoration experts and stakeholders. In a letter to the Secretary Mabus, who was appointed by President Obama to develop a long-term “Gulf Coast Restoration Plan,” Sen. Landrieu also highlighted the role that immediate sharing of offshore oil and gas revenues will play in the future of coastal protections and restoration.

“As you prepare to undertake the enormous responsibility of fulfilling President Obama’s historic pledge make ‘the Gulf Coast better than it was’ before this horrific oil spill, I want to extend an invitation for you to join me in Louisiana to review the extensive work to protect and restore our coast that has been underway for decades,” Sen. Landrieu wrote. “In order for you to understand the urgency and acuteness of the challenges we face in Louisiana, I believe that it is imperative that you hear directly from Louisiana experts and stakeholders, and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority as soon as possible.”

In the months leading up to the BP oil spill, Sen. Landrieu convened a broad coalition of stakeholders and experts to discuss the future protection, restoration and conservation of coastal Louisiana. The result was a series of recommendations included in a policy document prepared by Sen. Landrieu in April and sent to President Obama last week. This “white paper” could serve as a blueprint to help Sec. Mabus develop a plan to address both the short- and long-term challenges facing Louisiana’s wetlands and coastal communities.

In today’s letter, Sen. Landrieu highlighted the three principles that will be the key to Sec. Mabus’ Gulf Coast Restoration Plan being effective. These include:

•Immediate Sharing of Oil and Gas Revenue
•Utilizing Existing Plans for Coastal Restoration and Protection
•Establishing an Independent Authority to Expedite the Implementation of Coastal Protection and Restoration

On May 20, Sen. Landrieu introduced new legislation to begin revenue sharing with energy-producing Gulf Coast states immediately. The Restoring Ecosystem Sustainability and Protection on the Delta (RESPOND) Act would provide a much-needed revenue stream for Louisiana to defend itself from natural and manmade disasters, like the Gulf Coast oil spill.

“To fulfill President Obama’s promise to leave the Gulf Coast better that it was before the BP oil disaster, Gulf Coast states need a dedicated and robust stream of funding to restore and protect our coast for the long-term,” Sen. Landrieu wrote. “In the short-term, these funds should be provided by a fair distribution of revenue from offshore oil and gas production similar to what interior states have received since 1920.”

For a full copy of Sen. Landrieu’s letter to Sec. Mabus, please visit: http://landrieu.senate.gov/mediacenter/upload/10.06.22_Letter.pdf

For a detailed timeline of Louisiana’s coastal restoration efforts, please visit: http://landrieu.senate.gov/mediacenter/upload/10.06.22_Timeline.pdf

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