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Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) observed in emulsified oil on April 29, 2010 photo:NOAA

On July 21, a bipartisan coalition of nine Gulf Coast senators, including Senators Bill Nelson and Mario Rubio, introduced the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 (S. 1400). This much-needed legislation would ensure that at least 80% of BP penalties paid under the Clean Water Act would be dedicated to  Gulf States to invest in the long-term health of the coastal ecosystem and its economies. Under current law, this money would go to the U.S. Treasury and the Gulf Coast would get nothing.

These nine senators crossed party and state lines to come together in support of a bill that will help ensure a thriving future for the Gulf coast environment and economies. But there is still work that needs to be done.
Please urge the members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to give their approval to the RESTORE Act before the Senate adjourns for its August recess. Also, urge Gulf Coast members of the House of Representatives to follow the lead of their counterparts in the Senate and introduce the RESTORE Act in the House before the August Recess.
Let Congress know that it is important to you that the Gulf coast communities affected by the Gulf oil spill disaster get the money from BP penalties under the Clean Water Act not the U.S. Treasury. Make sure they know that you expect them to act, NOW, to ensure that these funds are dedicated to the restoration and protection of the coastal and marine ecosystems, fisheries, and economies of our Gulf States.
 RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2011, S. 1400- CALL TO ACTION
1. Contact Members of the Senate EPW Committee – Tell Them to Take action on S. 1400
  • Chairman Barbara Boxer has pledged her support for the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2011, S. 1400 and will schedule a mark-up when Congress reconvenes in September.
  • Your voice is needed to contact Republican and Democratic Members of the Committee and urge that they pass S. 1400 by voice vote.
  • Ask to speak with the staff person who handles EPW Committee Issues and request that their Senator support S. 1400.
The Members of the EPW Committee are:
Barbara Boxer (CA) – (202) 224-3553
Max Baucus (MT) – (202) 224-2651
Tom Carper (DE) – (202) 224-2441
Frank Lautenberg (NJ) – (202) 224-3224
Ben Cardin (MD) – (202) 224-4524
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) – (202) 224-2921
Tom Udall (NM) – (202) 224-6621
Jeff Merkley (OR) – (202) 224-3753
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) – (202) 224-4451
Jim Inhofe (OK) (202) 224-4721
John Barrasso (WY) (202) 224-6441
Mike Crapo (ID) (202) 224-6142
Lamar Alexander (TN) (202) 224-4944
Mike Johanns (NE) (202) 224-4224
John Boozman, (AR) (202) 224-4843
Bernie Sanders (VT) – (202) 224-5141
2. Contact your Gulf Coast Congressman and urge that they quickly reach a compromise similar to or the same as S. 1400 and introduce it immediately! Ask for the Staff person who handles “Gulf Restoration Bill” or “Oil Spill Penalties Bill”.
The key Members are:
Rep. Bonner (R-AL) – (202) 225-4931
Rep. Miller (R-FL) – (202) 225-4136
Rep. Southerland (R-FL) – (202) 225-5235
Rep. Gohmert (R-TX) – (202) 225-3035
Rep. Palazzo (R-MS) – (202) 225-5772
Rep. Castor (D-FL) – (202) 225-3376
Rep. Young (R-FL) – (202) 225-5961
Rep. Rivera (R-FL) – (202) 225-2778
Rep. Buchanan (R-FL) – (202) 225-5015
Rep. Nugent (R-FL) – (202) 225-1002
Rep. Farenthold (R-TX) – (202) 225-7742
Rep. Paul (R-TX) – (202) 225-2831
Rep. Poe (R-TX) – (202) 225-6565
Rep. Olsen (R-TX) – (202) 225-5951
Rep. Mack (R-FL) – (202) 225-2536
Visit the Reef Relief Blog or click here to see a summary of the RESTORE the Gulf Act of 2011 or a full text of the Act