The Restore the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 was introduced last week in the Senate.
This bill directs funding to the Gulf of Mexico region to help revitalize coastal communities and improve fisheries habitat and data collection, according to the American Sportfishing Association, which supports the measure.
“The combination of the biological impacts and the public’s perception of the extent of those impacts caused severe economic harm to the region,” noted ASA president and CEO Mike Nussman in a statement. “We applaud the senators for their leadership and urge Congress to move swiftly to pass this legislation which will help bring back the local economies and allow us to restore habitat and better understand the Gulf’s fisheries and their habitat.”
The Restore the Gulf Coast Act allocates funds equally to the five Gulf Coast states for ecological and economic recovery, and establishes the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to develop and fund a comprehensive plan for the ecological recovery and resiliency of the Gulf Coast.
The act also establishes an endowment that includes funding for needed fisheries stock assessments and ecosystem monitoring.