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Sportsmen Businesses Call for New Louisiana Governor to Commit to Restoring Coast
Vanishing Paradise and 124 outdoors businesses send letter to Governor Edwards
On January 19, a group of 125 Louisiana sportsmen businesses and organizations sent a letter to the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards, asking that he stand firm on his campaign commitments to restore Louisiana’s coast.
The letter was authored by Vanishing Paradise, a program of National Wildlife Federation working with hunters and anglers to advocate for restoring the Mississippi River Delta. Specifically, the groups called for Edwards to continue momentum advancing the 2012 Coastal Master Plan process. They also asked that the governor ensure that fines from the 2010 Gulf oil spill are spent on a range of effective, science-based restoration solutions.
The letter highlights that restoring this great natural resource is critical to sportsmen and outdoor recreation interests throughout Louisiana and generates revenue for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, fishing and hunting guides, marinas, hotels, lodges, gas stations, grocery stores, tackle shops, restaurants, boat dealerships, and outdoor magazines, websites and blogs.
Steve Bender, director of Vanishing Paradise, issued the following statement on the letter:
“True restoration of Louisiana’s coast is of vital importance to sportsmen and women. Hunters and anglers – including the 124 signers who joined us on this letter – rely on our healthy natural resources for commercial and recreational purposes.
“The current and best-available science shows us that to have any chance of rebuilding our rapidly disappearing delta, we must use the full suite of restoration solutions available. Different types of projects working together will maximize the benefits to fish and wildlife habitat. A variety of projects are necessary to build and sustain land, including sediment diversions, marsh creation, barrier island and headland reconstruction, ridge restoration, shoreline protection and hydrological restoration.
Rebecca Triche, executive director of the Louisiana Wildlife Federation added, “As our letter today states, we ask Governor Edwards to please make sure that real restoration moves forward. Louisiana’s sportsmen and women stand ready to help save this special region for future generations to enjoy. If we don’t act now, we will lose our Sportsman’s Paradise.”
The entire text of the letter can be found at http://vanishingparadise.org/open-letter-to-next-louisiana-governor.
To learn more about Vanishing Paradise and efforts to restore the coast, go to http://vanishingparadise.org/.