Our coast needs your help

Dierdre A. Badeaux
June 14, 2011
Thursday, June 16
June 16, 2011
Dierdre A. Badeaux
June 14, 2011
Thursday, June 16
June 16, 2011

The message from Women of the Storm founder Anne Milling was simple and direct: the Gulf Coast needs our help.

The group, formed after Hurricane Katrina blasted the region in 2005, is urging Louisiana residents to contact lawmakers and governors and ask their support of devoting 80 percent of any fines collected in connection with BP’s Deepwater Horizon leak toward the restoration of the Gulf Coast.

Approximately 75,000 like-minded citizens in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas received the same “Be The One” email blast.

“We need your support,” the email reads. “Legislation has been introduced in the [U.S.] House and Senate, and conversations about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill penalty dollars are going on with Congressional and state leaders daily. These negotiations can determine the future of the Gulf Coast.”

Women of the Storm is asking that we place a call to the men and women in Washington, D.C., and insist that they “work with colleagues in the region to assure 80 percent of penalty funds return to Gulf Coast states for economic and environmental restoration.

Soliciting similar help from friends, business associates, clubs, organizations and other contacts can only help in this effort.

“If our elected leadership fails to work in concert, we will lose these billions of dollars so critical to the recovery of our region,” Milling’s email reads. “Now is not a time to be shortsighted or play partisan politics. Now is the time to speak with one voice on behalf of the Gulf Coast. This is not a partisan issue – it is an issue of leadership.”

The Be The One e-petition, visit Women of the Storm online to learn more, has gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures across the U.S. in support of Gulf Coast restoration since it was launched in late July, on Day 92 of the BP oil spill.

In late March of this year, 140 members of Women of the Storm made personal visits to key House and Senate members to impart the need for coastal restoration. The public outcry and support has been huge. And the message is strengthened by the support of the federal bipartisan Oil Spill Commission’s support.

According to Women of the Storm, more than 80 percent of Americans in a recent poll believed that returning fines to the Gulf Coast states and dedicating them to restoration, with appropriate oversight, is the right thing to do. Eighty percent. It’s a familiar figure.

Listed are the lawmakers and governors who will decide this issue. Call or email them today and encourage their support. Collectively, our voice is strong united.


  • Sen. Bill Nelson (202) 224-5274
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (202) 224-3041
  • Gov. Rick Scott (850) 488-7146


  • Sen. Richard Shelby (202) 224-5744
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions (202) 224-4124
  • Gov. Robert Bentley (334) 242-7100


  • Sen. Thad Cochran (202) 224-5054
  • Sen. Roger Wicker (202) 224-6253
  • Gov. Haley Barbour 1-877-405-0733 or 601-359-3150


  • Sen. Mary Landrieu (202) 224-5824
  • Sen. David Vitter (202) 224-4623
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal (225) 342-7015 or 866-366-1121 (Toll Free)


  • Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (202) 224-5922
  • Sen. John Cornyn (202) 224-2934
  • Gov. Rick Perry (51) 463-1782