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Responsible Offshore Energy Production Supports Conservation through Bipartisan LCWF Reauthorization

Water conservation programs, wildlife habitats, national parks, hiking, hunting and fishing – all are getting a boost from offshore natural gas and oil development through the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Here’s the connection: The LWCF is almost entirely funded by fees resulting from offshore energy production in U.S. waters. In 2018, $893 million was generated for the fund, which invests in projects that protect and sustain federal lands for public outdoor recreation. States and local communities can also receive support from the LWCF through grant programs used to establish and preserve public recreational areas such as green spaces, water resources, and historic or cultural sites[1]

LWCF funding support is another reason the U.S. needs a robust offshore energy strategy. The U.S. Interior Department is expected to release its proposed five-year offshore leasing program in the coming weeks, and opening new waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic could significantly advance U.S. economic and security interests – as well as conservation and recreation goals.

Currently, offshore development supports over 315,000 U.S. jobs and contributes more than $30 billion a year to the U.S. economy[2]. Opening new areas for safe development could add 430,000 new jobs and $36 billion to the U.S. economy per year within 20 years while also boosting the economies of hosting states.[3] 

Florida alone received over $1 billion in federal funding over the past 50 years to invest into conservation of the state’s unique nature habitats and wildlife.

Again, it also supports needed programs that preserve public lands and waters, protect wildlife and help improve recreational opportunities.

If you support more funding, through offshore natural gas and oil development, for conservation programs, national parks and other outdoor recreation, please click here to take action.


[1] https://www.doi.gov/lwcf/about/overview

[2] https://www.boem.gov/NP-Economic-Benefits/

[3] https://exploreoffshoreusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Untapped-Potential-in-the-Atlantic.pdf; https://exploreoffshoreusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Offshore_E-Gulf_OnePager_A_v10.pdf

Categories: In the News