WASHINGTON (February 10, 2020) – The Trump Administration presented a budget to Congress today for fiscal year 2021 that includes dramatic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce which houses the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Not only is the Administration steamrolling ahead to gut our nation’s bedrock environmental laws, the President’s budget aims to decimate the federal support communities need to keep our air and water clean,” said Sarah Greenberger, senior vice president for conservation policy at the National Audubon Society.
“Birds are telling us that we must do more, not less, to protect the places all of us need to thrive and we call on Congress to once again reject the President’s budget and continue their historic investments in our nation’s public health and natural heritage.”
While the proposed budget does include substantial agency cuts, it also calls for a $250 million investment in ecosystem restoration for the Everglades and $320 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
“The substantial investments we see in places like the Everglades and Great Lakes are evidence that public advocacy matters,” said Greenberger. “These proposed increases by the President are a response to communities making their voice heard after past attempts by this Administration to cut these critical programs.
Despite an onslaught of extreme weather along our shoreline, an increase in sunny day flooding in coastal communities, and further confirmation that our cities are unprepared for sea level rise, the President’s budget proposes cutting programs like the Coastal Zone Management program that provides grants to coastal states to adapt to the changing climate.
Last week Audubon’s Chief Conservation Officer, David O’Neill,testified before a House subcommittee on appropriations where he presented a budget for bird recovery that calls for strong federal investment in coastal resilience, natural infrastructure, wetland restoration, water conservation, and responding to the threat of climate change. Audubon will work with members of Congress to support these important efforts. “Now is the time to fully invest in conservation programs at a scale necessary to address this crisis, and ensure a sustainable path forward for birds and communities, now and into the future,” O’Neill told the committee members.
“Audubon remains determined to advocate for conservation investments that reflect America’s values and what birds, people, and the places we need to survive,” added Greenberger.
This article was first published by Audubon on 10 February 2020.
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