We have received good news regarding our campaign for Congress to sustain federal funding for Rookery Bay and the NERRS.
In short, the House Appropriations Committee has released its bill for Fiscal Year 2018, and it includes level funding for the Reserves at $23.5 million. In addition, for the first time in our 40-year history, the Appropriations Committee specifically noted the NERR System in their report with the following statement:
The Committee does not adopt the proposal to terminate the Federal funding of the NERRS and funds it at the enacted level. The NERRS is an important partnership between NOAA and the coastal States that is crucial for protecting and studying estuarine systems.
This is a significant step, but it is not the final budget. The Fiscal Year 2018 bill must still be passed by all members of the House, and the Senate has not yet released their budget. NERRA, our national association leading this effort, will continue to track our progress through the summer.
Thanks again to all of you who have helped us get the word out to Congress on the importance of the Rookery Bay Reserve and our 28 sister sites across the nation.
Read our "Letter to the Editor" that appeared in the March 26 issue of Naples Daily News
What you can do to help
So far, nearly 300 supporters have already used our form to contact our Congressional delegation for Rookery Bay Reserve, Naples, Florida.
If you haven't already done so, send a message to your Representatives in Congress (see below for links) thanking them for their support of Rookery Bay Reserve and the National Reserves in fiscal year 2017, and urging them to continue support for fiscal year 2018.
Or, send one message to them all by completing the email form at the bottom of this page. We will continue to track progress on this issue as Congress works to determine the federal budget, and will keep you posted.
Want to do more? Support the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association!