Whitehouse celebrates legislation at Jacob's Point

New endowment funded by penalties, fines from BP gulf oil spill

By:  Ted Hayes
East Bay Newspapers

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse couldn’t have picked a much better spot Friday to celebrate the United States Senate’s passage of landmark new environmental legislation.

After all, Jacob’s Point in Warren has come a long way over the past 15 years. Once home to an airstrip, farms and gravel roads, the marsh was choked and dying when Save The Bay and other environmental organizations started taking notice more than 15 years ago. Today, the fragile marsh has been born again under a restoration plan funded, in part, with federal dollars. Sen. Whitehouse’s visit Friday was to celebrate legislation that if passed into law could help usher in other Jacob’s Points from Maine to California.

This week, the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation that would establish a National Endowment for the Oceans, Coasts and Great Lakes. Folded into a massive transportation bill, the legislation still needs to be approved by the House of Representatives. But if it passes and is signed into law by President Barack Obama, it promises to be one of the most powerful tools Washington has created in years to help America’s oceans, he said.

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