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Rep. Buchanan sends letter to Congressional panel asking for help in preserving estuaries

BRADENTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key) announced Friday that he has written a letter to a congressional panel requesting assistance in preserving 28 ecosystems formally recognized by Congress as "estuaries of national significance," including Sarasota Bay.

The letter, which was sent to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies from Buchanan and other Congressional lawmakers, asking IERA Chairman, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Cali.) to "invest directly in the stewardship of our nation's coasts by ensuring that each of the 28 NEPs in the field receives full funding in FY2018."

Estuaries are coastal bodies of water that are a mix of freshwater and saltwater from the sea, serving as connections between rivers and oceans. The National Estuary Program gives funding to restore and protect the quality of the 28 estuaries of the United States. According to the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Sarasota Bay is estimated to hold more than 1,400 native species and is responsible for a yearly influx of almost $1.8 billion into Florida's economy.