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February 13, 2018

It’s déjà vu all over again, but this time, we’re ready.

We did it last year.
We’ll do it again.
The Reserves get by with a little help from their Friends.

President Trump’s administration released its FY19 budget blueprint yesterday, and once again, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System that supports Rookery Bay and 28 other Reserves around the country has been ZEROED OUT.

Last year’s reversal of the zeroed out budget was made possible by people of all political beliefs in communities speaking out individually and collectively with local Reserve Friends groups to members of Congress showing their love and support for estuaries.

So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I ask everyone to show your love for YOUR backyard, YOUR treasure... Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve! 

In partnership with our national association (NERRA), Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) and the Association of National Estuary Programs (ANEP), we are embarking on a social media campaign to ensure our voices are heard in Washington. We’ll continue this campaign until the fight is won and funding is restored to the Reserve System.

We can’t do it without you. Let Congress and the Administration know that there is a lot of love for estuaries and let our leaders know that protecting estuaries is a partisan issue to protect our future. Please use the hashtag #iheartestuaries and encourage family, friends, partners, and local chambers of commerce to get in on the estuary love!

To help you learn a little more about the importance of estuaries and make it easy to share with your representatives we’ve assembled some tweets below...

  • Over half the US population lives along the coast which is <20% of contiguous US landmass! #iheartestuaries @HouseAppropsGOP @SenateApprops 
  • Our coastal counties provide >50% of our national GDP #iheartestuaries @HouseAppropsGOP @SenateApprops @AppropsDems @NOAAHabitat 
  • 1 out of 6 jobs in America is marine-related #iheartestuaries @HouseAppropsGOP @AppropsDems @SenateApprops @CommerceGov @NOAA 
  • More than 600 commercial fish species spend some part of their lives in an estuary #iheartestuaries @HouseAppropsGOP @SenateApprops 
  • Estuaries support 2/3 of all commercial seafood #iheartestuaries @CommerceGov @NOAAHabitat @HouseAppropsGOP @AppropsDems @SenateApprops 
  • Our estuaries are a vital part of our natural infrastructure providing multiple benefits to our economy #iheartestuaries @SenateApprops @HouseAppropsGOP @AppropsDems 

Please use these examples or be creative with your own versions. Let your voice be heard to protect YOUR backyard, YOUR treasure... Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve!

Special thanks to NERRA, RAE and ANEP for their contribution to develop and share the #iheartestuaries campaign information with the Friends of Rookery Bay.

Warm Regards,
Athan Barkoukis

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