A Citizen's Guide to the RESTORE Act

Oiled Laughing Gull
David J. Ringer/Audubon
A Laughing Gull oiled during the Deepwater Horizon disaster

The 2010 Gulf oil disaster was the latest assault on the region's ecosystems after years of degradation from human impacts and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. The continued environmental deterioration of the Gulf Coast poses a growing threat to ecosystems that support not only the regional communities and cultures, but also our nation's most critical energy, shipping, tourism, commercial seafood and other industries. 

Recently the Senate and House passed legislation (the RESTORE Act was included as part of the federal Transportation Act) that paves the way for Congress to do what voters expect: hold the parties responsible for the Gulf oil disaster accountable for restoring the Gulf. By investing fines owed by BP and the other parties responsible for the Gulf oil spill into the Gulf region, we can start to heal the bird and wildlife habitat and the communities that depend on a healthy Gulf. It is time for both chambers to come together and agree on final terms. Please let your Members of Congress know you support Gulf restoration by sending an email today.

Time is running out. BP and the federal government have been in settlement negotiations for some time. Should they come to an agreement before Congress takes action, much of the oil fine money could go elsewhere -- not to the Gulf where it is needed most.

We have prepared some materials for you to explain what this legislation does and to assist you in educating others about how to support this important investment in Gulf restoration.