A Cheer for the CLEAR Act

Dear Bay Weekly
I was pleased to see the recent oil spill response bill (CLEAR Act) pass the U.S. House of Representatives with full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund included. All of us should take a moment to thank Congressman Steny Hoyer for his part in shaping the legislation and in helping build bi-partisan consensus in this hard-won victory.

The CLEAR bill is important on many levels. While its overarching purpose is to improve safety standards for offshore drilling, it goes even further, through the LWCF, to protect our country’s most valuable natural areas. It will help Americans enjoy healthy land and clean water, and support jobs and economies through tourism and outdoor recreation. For us in the Chesapeake Bay region this bill can be an important tool to help the health of the Bay.

In Maryland, LWCF has been used to protect Piscataway Park, Douglas Point, Blackwater and Patuxent National Wildlife refuges, Assateague seashore and other natural treasures. Protecting these and other of our nation’s valuable land and water is not only common sense, it is a necessity.

I urge senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski to support and pass a bill similar to the House’s CLEAR Act, which moves our country closer to a framework for restoration of the Gulf of Mexico and provides for an ocean trust fund and for full and permanent funding for the LWCF.

–Nat Williams, Vice President and Director: Maryland/DC Chapter, The Nature Conservancy

Editor’s note: This letter was quickly submitted via our online submission form. I’m eager to hear your voice.