The budget requested for the Department of Commerce includes a 16% decrease from the FY17 level. Proposed NOAA’s budget cuts ($250 million) target grants and programs supporting coastal and marine management research, and education including Sea Grant, NERRs, coastal management, coral reef programs, among other.
Attached please find the Friends of the Coast letter to be submitted to the U.S. Congress appropriations committee where we can show the importance of these programs for Puerto Rico, USVI and the Caribbean, as well as the relevance of our programs at the National Level. Below please find how the letter will be used, how to sign it, and submit it to our colleagues of the Coastal States Organization:
HOW WILL THIS LETTER BE USED?
CSO will use it to educate Congress, especially appropriators, about what would be lost if CZM programs are not funded. It will also be used in letters to editors, press releases, social media, and meetings with Administration officials.
HOW SHOULD SIGNATURES BE SUBMITTED?
Send CSO your signature, typed name, title and organization in Word. Please also include a high resolution logo for your organization if possible. Signatures should go to firstname.lastname@example.org AND Grant Williams email@example.com.
WHEN IS THE DEADLINE FOR SIGNATURES?
Please submit as soon as possible before Close of Business the end of this week. Since that is one day after the President’s Budget is expected to be released, we want to use this letter the following week for planned Hill visits and media work. But please keep circulating this – we will add names continue to use this after the deadline.
Also you can forward this Friends of the Coast letter to Hotel and Tourism associations, commerce and businesses that benefit from healthy coasts and marine resources.
As a follow up to the alert that went out the other day , below is some additional information:
First, we will be sending a single letter from CSO with the names of groups and individuals supporting the CZM program and are not asking that each group you contact send their own letter. That being said, the more letters going to Congressional offices the better so if they are interested in sending their own letter then that is great but right now we’re only asking for sign off on the CSO letter.
Second, we are more than happy to help with outreach in your state. We understand that it can be difficult to devote time and resources to sending out the request and following up with groups so CSO stands ready to help out where we can. If we can be of assistance please send leads you may have to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will follow up directly with them.
Finally, if you are aware that any of your partners or friends are making visits to Washington DC to talk to folks on the Hill, please invite them to visit CSO while they are here. They can use our office to store luggage is they need it, and we can provide materials and background on the CZM program so they can carry our message.
Thank you all for your efforts on this, we’re already receiving significant support, which is a testament to the importance of the work being done by you in each state. If you have any questions or there is anything we can do, please do not hesitate to ask.