Thursday, March 23, 2017

Franklin County sends letter opposing proposed cuts to the National Estuarine Research Reserve system and for SeaGrant

 Franklin County Commissioners have agreed to send a letter to Florida's Legislative delegation in congress asking that they work to protect federal funding for the National Estuarine Research Reserve system and for SeaGrant which provides funding for the local extension office.

The White House has proposed a budget that cuts funding for a number of environmental research programs including the National Estuarine Research Reserve system which would be devastating to the local Research Reserve.

The Reserve manages over 12,000 acres in Gulf and Franklin Counties, including Little St. George Island, the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve, and several other sites bordering Apalachicola Bay.

Erik Lovestrand, who heads up the local extension office, said the proposed budget also zeroes out the national SeaGrant budget which is a significant component of state and local extension operations throughout the country.

County Commissioners said they want to make sure that our federal legislators know that both programs are very important to Franklin County and the Apalachicola Bay.

The board voted unanimously to authorize the Chairman’s signature on a letter to Florida's US Legislative Delegation supporting continued funding for the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve and for the SeaGrant program.