Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Help the McKinney NWR recover from damage by contacting your US Representative today

Please see below for an important alert from the National Wildlife Refuge Association about legislation that relates specifically to the Stewart B. McKinney NWR. The Refuge and its habitats were significantly impacted by Hurricane Sandy and now there is a resolution to strip funding for “uninhabited islands” from any relief package. Please take action today and let your elected representative that bird habitat is important to you. Falkner Island was especially hard hit, with perhaps as much as ½ of the nesting habitat for Roseate Terns eroded by the storm and this amendment would strip any funding for habitat restoration there from the relief package. Just because no one lives there doesn’t mean that this island isn’t critically important! At the bottom is a link that will allow you to contact your US Representative. You will have to sign up to be able to use the system, or you can find a template letter that could be copied in pasted into a message you craft yourself. You can find the contact information for your representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/#state_ca

Contact your Representative today – Refuges on the East Coast sustained $78 million indamages from Hurricane Sandy and desperately need help to rebuild. Unfortunately, some in Congress don't agree. Please also remember to thank our Representatives who are working hard to protect our NWR.
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote as early as today on additional Hurricane Sandy funding that will affect refuges. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) will be offering a substitute amendment to H.R. 152, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, that restores $78 million in funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) – funding that will aid refuges with ongoing clean up efforts and habitat restoration. The amendment also provides $360 million to Department of the Interior for mitigation efforts to strengthen resiliency of natural ecosystems by working directly with refuges, other public lands, state agencies and local communities.

The damage to refuges from Sandy is the equivalent of 16% of the System’s annual budget. Without this supplemental funding damages by Sandy will just become part of the backlog of unmet operations and maintenance needs and all refuges will suffer.

But some in Congress, who reside outside the affected area, are offering amendments to remove funding from refuges like the Stewart B. McKinney NWR in CT and prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from acquiring lands to offset habitat loss as the result of saltwater intrusion and other damage.

Please call or send your Representative a message today and urge him or her to:
1. Vote YES in support of the Frelinghuysen substitute amendment;
2. Oppose amendment #15 by Rob Bishop (UT) that would prohibit any funds to be used for land acquisition;
3. Oppose amendment # 49 by John Fleming (LA) that cuts funding for the FWS.

See more here: http://refugeassociation.org/action/?tdburl=http%3A%2F%2Frefugenet.e-actionmax.com%2Feditalert-ckbox.asp%3Faaid%3D6820

Thank you!

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

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