ASFPM agrees: Some gulf oil spill fines should go to gulf restoration
February 27, 2012 | Posted by Elizabeth Skree in BP Oil Disaster, RESTORE Act

This story was originally posted on Environmental Defense Fund's Restoration and Resilience blog.

By Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund

The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), which has chapters in each of the five Gulf Coast states damaged by the 2010 gulf oil spill, says it would be appropriate if Congress dedicated some  of the spill fines to restore the gulf.

“Recognizing that major funds are needed to support reconstruction of Gulf Coast high hazard areas devastated by the recent oil spill, the Association of State Floodplain Managers views the contribution of at least some portion of the gulf oil spill fines to gulf reconstruction to be appropriate, as the RESTORE Act would do,” said Larry A. Larson, P.E., CFM, executive director of theAssociation of State Floodplain Managers.

The disaster caused oil to wash ashore and destroy vital coastal wetlands. These wetlands act as a natural storm barrier, reducing storm surge and minimizing inland flooding. Without restoration of these gulf wetlands, numerous coastal communities will remain vulnerable to future storms and flooding.

“Restoration following the ecological disaster offers an opportunity for a more comprehensive, balanced approach to living with the gulf, more creative use of non-structural methods, reevaluation of multiple objectives in management of tributaries and coastal systems and curtailment of development into high risk areas,” concluded Larry. “It is an opportunity for avoidance of destruction of natural systems and for reducing what has been an ever escalating risk to people, property and taxpayer funds.”

Founded in 1977, ASFPM is a national nonprofit organization of professionals involved in floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, flood preparedness and flood warning and recovery with more than 14,000 members in 33 state chapters.

Its members work to achieve wise use of the nation’s floodplains and related water resources, through comprehensive non-structural and structural floodplain management. Their mission is “to promote education, policies, and activities that mitigate current and future losses, costs, and human suffering caused by flooding, and to protect the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains – all without causing adverse impacts.”

Read more about the Association of State Floodplain Managers by visiting their website www.floods.org.

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