By Hal Herring
There’s good news, and there’s bad news that leads to good news. First, the good news:
Sportsman’s groups from Ducks Unlimited to the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and everywhere in between were celebrating the passage of the RESTORE Act last week. Land Tawney of the National Wildlife Federation said, “The RESTORE Act is the culmination of years of work from hunters and anglers all across the nation, all working to restore the Gulf.”
If the Act had not passed, the estimated $5-$20 billion in fines being collected from British Petroleum and other companies for their role in the oil spill would have gone to the U.S. Treasury, and been placed in a fund to clean up and mitigate future spills. It’s a staggering amount of money, and it is needed, right now, to begin the work to restore a coast that, even before being bathed in oil in 2010, with fisheries shut down for months and still-being-calculated damage to shellfish, water quality and pelagic fisheries, was washing away so fast that it is known to be the world’s fastest disappearing landmass.