The federal budget proposal from the Trump administration will be disastrous for the coastal environment and ocean dependent economy in the United States. Funding cuts across a swath of public service agencies would kill jobs, harm the economy, and make even going to the beach a risky activity.
Documents outlining the 2018 federal budget show that the plan is to cut every single federal program that helps to protect, manage, and improve our coastal and estuarine areas — and your quality of life. If carried out, these programs — which protect the environment and millions of jobs — will be eliminated or have their funding cut so severely they will be rendered ineffective.
You can help turn this around!
How? Here are two ways.
1) Please contact your elected federal officials and tell them you oppose this assault on environmental protection.
Find your Representatives and Senators, along with their office numbers, here.
It is best to call both the local district and Washington DC offices.
2) Please help support the American Littoral Society so we can continue to protect the coast for you and future generations, and are able to speak out on behalf of the coast and you on issues like this.
READ MORE for a guide for calling your elected official and additional information on this issue.
A GUIDE FOR MAKING THE CALLS
Start by letting them know your name and that you are a constituent. Then inform them why you are calling and what issue you are calling about. Sometimes you will be able to speak directly to your senator or representative, but more often you will speak to a staff person in the member's office. This person keeps track of how many people called and their positions on issues, and provides a summary to the member. Be assured that your call does count, even if you are not able to speak directly to your senator or representative.
Hi, my name is _______ and I’m a constituent of Representative _______/ Senator _________. I’m calling because I’m concerned about President Donald Trump proposing severe funding cuts or elimination of programs that protect our local coastal resources, economy and quality of life. I specifically oppose cutting NOAA’s Estuarine Research Reserves, Community-based Habitat Restoration, and Coastal Management Programs. I also oppose cutting the EPA National Estuary Program and US Fish and Wildlife Servicce Coastal Program. I’m calling to see if Rep. _________ / Senator ___________ plans to publicly oppose Trump’s effort to cut funding for or eliminate these programs. As a constituent of Rep. ______/ Sen. ________ I expect him/her to support these critical programs. Thanks for your time.
WHY THIS BUDGET WILL BE CATASTROPHIC FOR THE COAST
Bottom line: The ocean is place of vibrant life and wonder. It speaks to our spirit, provides a home for amazing marine life — from whales to horseshoe crabs — and is the place we play and restore ourselves. The U.S. ocean and coastal economy contributes $359 billion annually to the nation's economy and supports 3 million jobs. Coastal wetlands — which the Littoral Society, with help from federal agencies, works to protect and restore — provide an estimated $23.2 billion per year in storm protection.
Those are big numbers. But anyone who lived on the coast during Hurricane Sandy or feels secure their beach isn’t contaminated with bacteria knows those figures don’t capture the personal impact of these budget cuts.
These proposed cuts will jeopardize important federal programs such as water quality testing on beaches and pollution cleanups. They would also affect hundreds of thousands local, state and private sector jobs — many tied directly to coastal tourism.
The spending changes would also have ripple effects, since numerous environmental protection duties will be handed to the states at the same time as money to carry out those responsibilities is cut. In New Jersey alone, 33 percent of the budget for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) comes from the federal government. Other states similarly depend on a state-federal partnership.
Moreover, grants for environmental research and partnership projects are also on the chopping block. Such funding has played a major role in Littoral Society efforts to protect drinking water in southern New Jersey, slow beach erosion in the Delaware Bay, and address a flooding and pollution problem in a coastal lake on the Jersey shore.
PROGRAMS AND FUNDING CRITICAL FOR THE COAST
Help us demand that these important programs be protected by calling your senators and House members now. Debate on the President's 2018 budget will begin soon.
Please stand with us as the American Littoral Society stands against a budget that would harm the coast we have worked so long and hard to preserve and protect.
4/7/2017 03:21:09 pm
please consider reworking this as a letter-to-the-editor format. it would reach the greatest number of our readers on the editorial page. thank you. gloria
4/7/2017 03:58:49 pm
Thank you for bringing this issue to us. YES calling your representatives does work. Please everyone make a phone call
4/7/2017 05:10:31 pm
Thank-you for bringing this to my attention. I will follow through. I've been supportive of many of the new changes the new administration has made, but I am certainly not fan of these changes and will add my voice to the others here.
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