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Millions of Americans Agree
Habitat Restoration is Critical for the Environment and Economy
Letter Urges President and Congress to Fund Habitat Restoration Programs Across the Country
More than 300 businesses, nonprofit and advocacy groups, industry trade groups, and tribal associations, representing millions of members and constituents throughout the country, have signed and shared a letter calling on the Administration and Congress to support federal programs that protect and restore habitats in and around our estuaries, rivers, and lakes.
Not only are our coasts and waterways critical to everyday life for Americans, healthy habitat and waters are good for the environment and support a strong economy.
The organizations—a “Who’s Who” of nationally prominent environmental, outdoor trade,
and sporting organizations, as well as concerned coastal business owners—agree that
a sustained federal investment in habitat restoration funding is required to achieve
“If there is any silver lining in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it is the attention
it has focused on the crisis facing our coasts,” said Jeff Benoit, President and
CEO of Restore America’s Estuaries. “As concerned coastal stakeholders we are urging
our leaders to prioritize and fund the programs which provide the critical capital
The group letter urges the Administration and Congress to support critical federal habitat restoration programs because healthy habitats support and protect commercial and recreational industries that feed dollars into local economies. In addition, the increasing usage and visitation demands placed on these areas require sustained restoration efforts and funds to reverse ongoing damage and deterioration.
“Our national parks are not islands. They depend upon the healthy waterways that
surround and flow through them,” said Theresa Pierno, Executive Vice President for
the National Parks Conservation Association and Co-
Investments for protecting and restoring critical habitats result in fish that are
plentiful and safe to eat, beaches that are clean to swim in, water that is safe
to drink, and a healthy ecosystem in which native fish and wildlife thrive. Local
projects increase our quality of life, boost our economy through jobs, and improve
property values and long-
“As we look to the future, providing programs and funding to reconnect rivers with
paddlers, habitat, and jobs is critical for the health and well being of local economies,”
said Mark Singleton, American Whitewater Executive Director. “This investment creates
a triple bottom-
“The loss of funds to federal habitat restoration programs, particularly NOAA’s Community-
“Coastal habitats support spawning and nursing grounds for many fish species and
recreational fishing in saltwater alone supports over a half-
"Habitat restoration creates good jobs," said Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers. "If you're looking to create jobs, boost the economy, and help wildlife and the environment, habitat restoration is a grand slam." Concerned groups are national leaders in each of their area of expertise and advocate for strong habitat restoration programs. Lead organizations include: American Rivers, American Sportfishing Association, American Whitewater, Ducks Unlimited, National Audubon, National Parks Conservation Association, Outdoor Alliance, Outdoor Industry Association, and Restore America’s Estuaries joined forces to spearhead the outreach for this letter.