Partnership Update

June 22, 2012

Register Now for Partnership Annual Meeting

Make plans to join us in Bay St. Louis, MS on Tuesday, August 21 and Wednesday, August 22, 2012. Representatives from federal and state agencies and the Ecosystem Restoration Task Force will provide the latest news regarding:

  • the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill restoration process;
  • funding for land conservation programs in the Gulf region; and
  • landscape-scale conservation planning.

View registration and accommodations information.

Hope for RESTORE: More Action Needed

House and Senate leaders are hopeful that a compromise on the Transportation Bill is within reach, according to a recent report by Jason Plautz, E & E News. Work on outstanding issues will continue over the weekend and a final vote on the bill may be held next week.  
Derek Brockbank, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign Director, advised today that the RESTORE Act and funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund are among the outstanding issues. Conservation organizations prefer the Senate version on both issues because the Senate version of RESTORE allows for land acquisition and protects funding for LWCF while the House version does not. Please make calls to the House and Senate today and over the weekend.

HOUSE

Leadership (Boehner, Cantor, Mica), Gulf Republicans and Republicans on Conference committee. Message is: "Create jobs in the Gulf, get the RESTORE Act done now, get the Transportation bill done." (They simply need to feel pressure to get it done, we'll look to the Senate to hold strong on the better version.)

SENATE

Leadership (Boxer, Reid, Durbin, Baucus) and Gulf champs (mainly Shelby, Nelson and Landrieu, but others too). Message is: "RESTORE is strongly bipartisan, it got 76 votes in the Senate, include the Senate RESTORE in the Transportation bill, and get it done now."

Obviously all messages to champions - both House and Senate - should include thanks for their efforts to this point, and any localized message of job creation or why the Senate bill is preferred (land acquisition, restoration on federal lands, environmental restoration, LWCF, National Endowment for the Oceans, etc) is helpful.  Call Derek with any questions:

Office/Cell: 202-797-6666
Email: brockbankd@nwf.org

BP Hopes to Settle for $15 Billion

A cryptic story in the Financial Times (subscription required) reports that BP is pressing the Department of Justice for a settlement of $15 billion for all civil and criminal penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The Department of Justice is seeking $20 - 25 billion. Sources say that an agreement may be reached before the Democratic Convention in September. Learn more.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands Meeting a Success

Over 300 attendees met this week in Corpus Christi to continue work on the Governor’s Action Plan II. Scientists, policymakers, resource managers, NGO’s, and industry representatives work through Priority Issue Teams to address Water Quality, Nutrients and Nutrient Impacts, Environmental Education, Coastal Community Resilience, Ecosystem Integration and Assessment, and Habitat Conservation and Restoration (HCRT). The Partnership is a member of the HCRT which is creating resources regarding the impacts of sea level rise, sediment management, and the legal and institutional frameworks for conservation in the five Gulf States and Mexico. Access the great resources.

Forest Legacy Program Intact

Thank you to those of you who contacted your Senators last week in support of the Forest Legacy Program. The Lee Amendment was defeated and the Forest Legacy Program is included in the Senate Farm Bill.

Restoration Funding Will Create Thousands of New Jobs: Report

Deepwater Horizon restoration funding is not just good for the environment, it is good for the regional economy as well. According to a report conducted by Mather Economics and funded by the Walton Family Foundation, as many as 75,000 new jobs could be created by $25 billion in restoration funding over 10 years. Read the study.

2012 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan Adopted May, 2012

The plan is a 50 year, $50 billion effort to address the state’s multi-decade loss of wetlands.  According to Kevin Chandler, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, the plan includes sediment diversions, a Multiple Lines of Defense strategy, and community assistance. View the Mississippi River Delta blog for a discussion of sediment diversion.

IRS Approves Non-profit Status for Land Trust Insurance Company

Terrafirma, an insurance company for land trusts, was created by the Land Trust Alliance to help smaller land trusts defend easements.  Land trusts are legally bound to enforce conservation easements and disputes that end up in court can be ruinously expensive.  According to the New York Times, one case in Connecticut took almost a decade and cost $415,000 in legal fees. Insurance covered approximately half the cost. Read the full story.

Contact

Julia Weaver
Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation
Ocean Springs, MS
228-219-2279
jweaver@lta.org

 

The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation is organized under the auspices of the Land Trust Alliance which provides administrative and fiscal support.

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