Use offshore oil and gas revenue for conservation

We wish to recognize the leadership of U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin on behalf of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. LWCF is the program that ensures Maryland has the resources our parks, forests, and wildlife areas need to provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and to strengthen our economy.

If you enjoy visiting a neighborhood or state park, the odds are that the fund helped to make this possible. LWCF has also preserved for future generations the experiences of canoeing Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge's water trails, visiting Antietam National Battlefield, and camping at Assateague Island National Seashore. These funds don't come from taxpayers. They come from fees paid by oil and gas companies for drilling offshore. However, money consistently gets taken out of the fund for other purposes, shortchanging us the funds we need to invest in our recreational economy.

Our senators joined 47 others on a bipartisan letter urging a solution. We ask the new Congress to make action on LWCF a top priority.

Joel Dunn and Bill Crouch, Annapolis

The writers are, respectively, executive director of the Chesapeake Conservancy and Maryland director of The Conservation Fund.

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