SEATTLE — The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition purchased banner ads today asking constituents to thank Senator Cantwell for supporting the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The online ads appeared on websites for the Seattle Times, KOMO News, Talking Points Memo and CNN.
The BP oil spill highlights the need for a sustained investment in conservation. As oil washes on to beaches and seeps into wetlands at some of the Gulf coast’s most vital and diverse habitat areas, with dire implications for nesting and migratory birds and aquatic animals. Since LWCF is dependent on off-shore oil/gas royalties, potential energy legislation in the US Senate and the US House considered this week in response to the oil spill is an appropriate vehicle for including full funding for LWCF.
“Senator Cantwell agreed to fight for LWCF funding in the energy bill because she understands that oil and gas operations put Puget Sound and Washington’s natural landscapes at risk,” said Joanna Grist, Executive Director of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. “She deserves to hear that Washingtonians appreciate her leadership in protecting our land and water.”
Senator Cantwell’s leadership of LWCF is certainly in line with Washington residents. A recent poll conducted by Zogby International showed that 73% of Washington residents support using oil and gas royalty fees to fully fund important land conservation and outdoor recreation projects financed by LWCF.
LWCF is an important source of funding for expanding our national parks, creating wildlife refuges and funding other local park and trail projects in Washington State. Since 1965, LWCF has invested over $350 million in creating and expanding Washington’s national parks and wildlife refuges. LWCF has also contributed $67 million towards local park, recreation and trail projects throughout the state.
About the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition
Chaired by former Governors Dan Evans and Mike Lowry, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition is an advocacy organization made up of over 270 varied organizations and businesses that work to ensure public funding for Washington’s state and local parks, trails, wildlife habitat and working lands before they are lost to other uses. The Coalition’s website, with more background and descriptions of previously funded projects across the state, is: www.WildlifeRecreation.org