Not all birds were as lucky as the pelican shown here, who was found oiled, rescued, banded and returned to healthy habitat after the Gulf oil spill. In fact, the Brown Pelican species -- just removed from the Endangered Species Act -- is now at risk because of contaminated food sources and degraded habitat.
Shockingly, the Senate has yet to lift a finger and respond to the damage done to birds, wildlife and habitat in the Gulf region.
During this lame duck session, the Senate has an opportunity and a responsibility to pass legislation that puts the Gulf and its birds and wildlife first, and ensure that resources are available now for recovery and restoration.
Please send this message to your Senators telling them you want penalties under the Clean Water Act to be directed toward funding Gulf restoration efforts.
As a constituent and supporter of the National Audubon Society, I urge you to support all efforts to hold BP accountable for the oil spill tragedy in the Gulf. Specifically, penalties under the Clean Water Act should be directed to fund Gulf restoration efforts so that the communities, wildlife and natural systems can start to heal. During this lame duck session, the Senate has an opportunity and a responsibility to act and should pass legislation similar to that passed in the House earlier this year.
There are still many unknowns on how the oil pollution will affect the birds and wildlife of the region. The Brown Pelican, just recently removed from the Endangered Species Act, is now at risk because of contaminated food sources and degraded habitat. Sea turtles, at risk from over fishing and habitat loss, may find the contaminated waters of the Gulf the last straw. Other deep water sea creatures and their survival are of grave concern. Just because the oil is no longer flowing into the Gulf is no reason to believe that the region is safe or that our work there is done. Furthermore, environmental health is crucial for tourism, seafood production, and other industries that support communities and the American economy.
Even before the oil spill, the coastline of Louisiana was disappearing into the ocean. Much needs to be done to restore the marshes and disappearing wetlands so essential to the health and economy of that region. With new focus, new resolve and new resources, much can be done to begin the process of restoration and recovery.
I strongly urge you to support efforts to hold BP accountable for the impacts of the oil spill and to direct CWA penalty funds to Gulf restoration and recovery. This region is too important to our nation to ignore.