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Racial Disparities in the United States Estuary Programs

WHEREAS, the National Estuary Program (NEP) was created in 1987 by amendments to the Clean Water Act to ―identify, restore, and protect nationally significant estuaries in the United States‖; and

WHEREAS, the NEP affords scientists and students places to study environmental biology, geology, chemistry, and physics while supporting recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, surfing, and wildlife viewing; and

WHEREAS, the above stated activities have created an interdependent coastal industry, including housing development, that has generated billions of dollars in revenue; and

WHEREAS, African-Americans and other minority students have been denied access to opportunities, training and resources afforded through the NEP; and

WHEREAS, the 28 Estuary programs are:

  • Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds, North Carolina
  • Barataria-Terrebonne Estuarine Complex, Louisiana
  • Barnegat-Bay, New Jersey
  • Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
  • Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Maine
  • Charlotte Harbor, Florida
  • Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries, Texas
  • Lower Columbia River Estuary, Oregon and Washington
  • Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
  • Delaware Inland Bays, Delaware
  • Galveston Bay, Texas
  • Indian River Lagoon, Florida
  • Long Island Sound, New York and Connecticut
  • Maryland Coastal Bays, Maryland
  • Massachusetts Bays, Massachusetts
  • Mobile Bay, Alabama
  • Morro Bay, California
  • Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island
  • Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, New Hampshire and Maine
  • New York-New Jersey Harbor (Harbor Estuary Program), New York and New Jersey
  • Peconic Bay, New York
  • Puget Sound, Washington
  • San Francisco Estuary, California
  • San Juan Bay, Puerto Rico
  • Santa Monica Bay, California
  • Sarasota Bay, Florida
  • Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Tillamook Estuaries, Oregon

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) request the United States Congress require representative minority participation, such as that of the NAACP Branches and State Conferences, in federally funded environmental programs as it relates to planning, implementation and policy in the NEP and related government policy making programs; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that all NAACP Units request a seat on each of the 28 Estuary Programs in the United States and other environmental, rural and urban, policy decision- making bodies related to environmental matters.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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