New Orleans, LA- Thursday, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released its Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast's Ecosystem and Economy. The coalition of more than 700 national state and local hunting and fishing organizations and businesses that is Vanishing Paradise issued following statement:
"We thank the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council for its efforts toward a comprehensive plan to restore the invaluable Gulf ecosystem, home to one of the world's greatest fisheries and incomparable waterfowling opportunities.
"The warm wetlands around the delta provide some seventy percent of our nation's waterfowl with wintering grounds and also serve as an incubator for many species of fish and seafood. Louisiana truly lives up to its nickname as 'Sportsman's Paradise,' and restoring the Mississippi River Delta is a priority for American sportsmen and women.
"As the Council takes its next crucial step of prioritizing ecosystem restoration projects, we encourage them to embrace the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan as its guiding document for restoring the Mississippi River Delta, which was ground zero for the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
"The Mississippi River Delta restoration projects in the Coastal Master Plan will create an important cornerstone for Gulf-wide ecosystem restoration. Since sportsmen and women generate $70 billion a year in revenue and job creation, truly restoring the delta will be a critical component to successfully restore the entire Gulf region-both ecologically and economically.
"As the Council moves from planning to implementation, it should work with Louisiana to achieve the vision set forth in its Coastal Master Plan. A vibrant Gulf of Mexico starts with a strong Mississippi River Delta."
CONTACTS: Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, firstname.lastname@example.org