Date: July 16, 1998
Contact: Dan Evans
Finally, a Good Sea Turtle Amendment in Congress
This Tuesday (July 22), Rep. Gilchrest (R-MD) will offer an amendment to the Department of the Interior Appropriations bill to delete a harmful rider. The rider (section 337) is a taxpayer ripoff that will give federal subsidies for coastal development in storm prone regions, some of which provide critical sea turtle nesting habitat.
Developers are trying to sneak the rider through for a second time, and have gotten most Members of the Florida delegation to sign off on this taxpayer giveaway. They already have succeeded in getting it amended onto the Appropriations bill! We need your help to preserve the integrity of the Coastal Barrier Resources System and save critical habitat and taxpayers money. (See Florida’s beaches and sea turtles still threatened by attacks on Coastal Barrier Resource System)
Members are urged to support the amendment by Representative Gilchrest to strike section 337 of the House Interior Appropriations bill. Section 337 was added to the appropriations bill to remove certain beaches in Florida from the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS), making development on environmentally sensitive and hazardous barrier islands eligible for federally subsidized flood insurance and other federal subsidies. The Gilchrest amendment to strike this provision discourages unwise and dangerous coastal development, saves taxpayers millions of dollars, and protects beaches that provide habitat for threatened and endangered species including an area within the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in the Western Hemisphere. The provision to remove the beaches from the CBRS has been strongly opposed by the President, the Department of the Interior, and dozens of conservation and taxpayer organizations.
Please contact the following Representatives, especially if they are from your state.
Peter DeFazio OR – D
Bob Franks NJ – R
Sam Gejdenson CT – D
Edward Markey MA – D
David Obey WI – D
Ralph Regula OH – R
Robert Wexler FL – D
Robert Weygand RI – D
Sidney Yates IL – D
John Thune SD – R
John Tierney MA – D
Esteban Edward Torres CA – D
James Traficant OH – D
Fred Upton MI – R
Peter Visclosky IN – D
James Walsh NY – R
Wes Watkins OK – R
Henry Waxman CA – D
Jerry Weller IL – R
Rick White WA – R
Edward Whitfield KY – R
Robert Wise WV – D
Frank Wolf VA – R
Lynn Woolsey CA – D
Please check out some additional issues affecting sea turtles, and wildlife in general, being decided in the Federal Congress during the next week.
Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the water…
While Congress was in the 4th of July recess, efforts continued to revive S 1180, a very bad endangered species bill, referred to as the Kempthorne. (See The Kempthorne bill vs. the Miller bill.)
Kempthrone’s bill would lead to the demise of the strength and effectiveness of the ESA, including the use of Turtle Excluder Devices by shrimpers. Conservation organizations have been left out of the discussion of this bill. This bill completely undermines Rep. Miller’s beneficial Endangered Species Recovery Act that is in the House.
Senator Baucus (D-MT) has been negotiating furiously over the last day or two with the Clinton Administration to resolve differences over the Kempthorne bill (S. 1180) and may have come to an agreement. This could pave the way for the Kempthorne bill to come to the Senate floor sometime during the week of July 20.
This current threat is very serious and the Senate leadership is banking on us being so consumed with fighting their incredible panoply of anti-environmental riders that we cannot stop the Kempthorne bill from coming to the floor.
Please call your Senator and urge them to oppose the Kempthorne bill S 1180!
Anti-environmental “riders” are hidden in both the House and Senate appropriations bills. Contact your Senators and ask them to oppose the Senate Interior Appropriations bill, because it has 18 of these anti-environmental riders on it (the most of any single bill).
Contact your House members and ask them to oppose the House Interior Appropriations bill, because it still has five riders on it, including the removal of parcels from the Coastal Barrier Resource System. (See Florida’s beaches and sea turtles still threatened by attacks on Coastal Barrier Resource System)
Contact the White House and urge that the President veto ANY appropriations bills with ANY anti-environmental riders on it.
If these things get by this year, it will become common practice to write environmental policy on the sneak.
President William J. Clinton
Vice President Albert Gore, Jr.