By Amanda Moore and Happy Johnson, National Wildlife Federation
Yesterday (July 9), U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) kicked off a five-stop Louisiana coastal tour to celebrate the historic passage and signing into law of the RESTORE Act. Stops included Jean Lafitte, Thibodaux, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Bell City. Staff from the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign were on hand in Lafitte as the senior senator from Louisiana thanked the crowd for the time and energy spent achieving this momentous victory for our coast.
“This tremendous victory would never have been possible without the broad support of environmental, wildlife and business groups in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf Coast,” said Senator Landrieu in a press statement.
The RESTORE Act, first introduced in July 2011 by Senators Landrieu and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), will dedicate 80 percent of penalties paid under the Clean Water Act to the gulf states for ecological and economic restoration. BP could face fines between $5.4 billion and $21.1 billion. In Louisiana, this funding will be critical for implementation of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan, a 50-year, $50 billion restoration and protection plan for the state.
Thanks to Senator Landrieu for her leadership, and thanks to all of the legislators who voted to bring justice to the gulf.
Photos from the Laffite event can be seen on the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Facebook page.