Urge officials to use BP Gulf restoration funds to protect bluefins & turtles

Restoring a degraded gulf of MexicoThe government trustees charged with restoring the Gulf have released 10 new projects, including two that will protect bluefin tuna and sea turtles. This suite of new projects is the fourth phase of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment early restoration process, funded by a $1 billion “down payment” from BP to restore the damage caused by the oil disaster.

We need your help. The trustees are calling for comments on the 10 proposed projects by July 6 – so, add your comment today!

Here’s what I wrote (first paragraph are my words):

Diversity is the invisible undercurrent that powers our world. And the sea covers most of our planet. We need to protect and nurture natural life and marine victims of the Gulf Oil tragedy. Please, act on behalf of a people and a planet who need your help.

Canned message follows (written by Ocean Conservancy):

I am writing in support of the pelagic longline bycatch reduction and sea turtle early restoration projects, proposed in phase IV of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment early restoration process.

For too long, we have seen the list of impacts to deep water species grow, while the projects to restore those species never materialized. From dolphins dying in record numbers, to corals covered in oil and millions of gallons of oil sitting on the seafloor, a troubling story is unfolding offshore. It is past time to begin restoring our impacted deep water resources and habitats. Only by addressing restoration in an integrated and comprehensive way — from the coast to the deep water can our impacted habitats, wildlife and coastal communities fully recover.

With these two projects, I am encouraged to see the trustees finally begin to restore the Gulf not just on the coast but beyond the shore, where the BP oil disaster began. These projects represent the comprehensive approach that we’ve been hoping to see in the five years since the disaster began. If we want to truly restore the Gulf, we must focus on both the coast and the deep water — our communities, culture and livelihoods depend on it.

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