Buffer lands needed

To the Journal editor:

As a Michigander, I know that national parks and national seashores add great assets to our communities. Therefore it is important that we defend our community against the worst extreme weather events in the future.

I am disappointed that, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to block the use of relief funds for potential land acquisition, a critical component to coastal recovery and restoration.

Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern buffer zones that protects coastal lands, wildlife refuges and beaches. These areas defend our coastlines and coastal communities and must be safeguarded against the worst extreme weather events in the future.

Sandy’s victims deserve to have all of the tools necessary for recovery at their disposal, but the House of Representatives prevented the federal government from using relief funds to acquire land that could help maintain and improve essential buffer areas. Unfortunately, U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, voted to remove this critical component to recovery.

We now look to our U.S. senators, Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, to support the role that land acquisition plays in disaster recovery and restoration and to vote against similar legislation moving forward.

Emily Eiffert, field coordinator

Environment Michigan