Land Trust Alliance Pushes for Strategic Land Conservation on Deepwater Horizon Disaster’s Fifth Anniversary

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Gulf Recovery Funds Can Preserve Ecological, Economic, Cultural Resources

Land Trust Alliance logo

Land Trust Alliance logo

The recovery is far from finished, and the Land Trust Alliance remains committed to working within the Gulf states to facilitate sensible and lasting solutions.

The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation, organized by the Land Trust Alliance, is marking the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster with a renewed push for strategic land conservation that preserves the Gulf of Mexico region’s ecological, economic and cultural resources.

“Strategic investment of Gulf recovery funds in land conservation will help restore the Gulf region’s diminished beauty and vibrancy,” said Rand Wentworth, Land Trust Alliance president. “Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas lost an estimated $22.7 billion in tourism revenue and $8.7 billion in commercial fishing activity following the Deepwater Horizon spill. The recovery is far from finished, and the Land Trust Alliance remains committed to working within the Gulf states to facilitate sensible and lasting solutions.”

Land conservation work along the Gulf Coast is informed by “A Land Conservation Vision for the Gulf of Mexico Region,” a landmark report the Alliance and the Gulf Partnership released in November 2014. Available at gulfpartnership.org, the report identifies priority focus areas for private land conservation.

The report was developed in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund in response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster that began on April 20, 2010. It outlines voluntary conservation opportunities for local landowners, public agencies and others; presents regional and state maps showing priority locations for conservation and restoration activities; and provides a resource for state and federal policymakers.

“By protecting sensitive lands, we can improve water quality, preserve critical habitats and provide an opportunity to restore coastal habitat that was impacted by the Deepwater Horizon spill,” said Bob Stokes, chairman of the Partnership’s executive committee and president of the Galveston Bay Foundation in Texas. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico.”

Following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the Alliance in 2010 organized a partnership uniting all major private, nonprofit organizations working to protect and restore lands across the five-state coastal region. The Alliance led development of this Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation, a coalition of 30 local, regional, state and national land conservation groups. The Conservation Fund provided strategic conservation planning, training and guidance to member organizations, and The Nature Conservancy compiled the key maps featured in the report.

About the Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation

A program of the Land Trust Alliance, the Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation is a coalition of local, regional, state and national land conservation organizations devoted to advancing land and water conservation in the Gulf of Mexico region. Our core mission is to work together across the five Gulf of Mexico states to increase the pace, quality and permanence of voluntary land and water conservation in the coastal region. More information about the Partnership is available at http://www.gulfpartnership.org.

About the Land Trust Alliance

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents more than 1,100 member land trusts supported by more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C. and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at http://www.landtrustalliance.org.

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Joshua Lynsen