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RESTORE Act: Let's help the Delta

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The RESTORE Act promises 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties paid by BP will be allocated to the Gulf Coast states. If you haven't heard of the RESTORE Act, it's likely because you don't live on the Gulf Coast. I just arrived back from visiting family in Baton Rouge where the RESTORE Act is consistently in the news. Here in Bemidji, we are stewards of the Mississippi River and have a strong connection to the Gulf Coast and Louisiana's Mississippi River Delta. Right now the delta needs our help.

Currently the House of Representatives is working on a transportation bill, which includes the RESTORE Act. Congress, however, is at a standstill; possibly until November. Congress needs to pull together and pass this bill for the sake of our Gulf Coast communities. The RESTORE Act would bring up to $25 billion in restoration funds to our Gulf Coast states. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are waiting for funds needed to implement critical environmental clean-up and monitoring activities. Louisiana has coastal restoration projects lined-up just waiting to be funded. These funds are essential to the environmental and economic stability of our Mississippi River Delta and the small businesses of the Gulf Coast.

We need Congress to pass the full transportation bill that includes the RESTORE Act. Our coast and communities have been dealt a major blow. It is our civic duty to ensure Clean Water Act penalty funds are used to restore the damage. Please consider asking your representative to make it happen through the RESTORE Act. For more information you can visit restorethedelta.org

Jaime Thibodeaux

Bemidji

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