February 9, 2005Southampton College Marine Science Professors React to Bush Budget Cuts
Amanda Olsen (Amanda.olsen@.liu.edu)
Southampton, NY – With proposed cuts to the EPA’s Long Island Sound Study Office budget of a whopping 93%, Southampton College professors and Marine Science experts Chris Gobler and Robert Turner offered a dismal outlook for ongoing research to protect and preserve Long Island Sound.
The proposed cuts come under the spending plan President George W Bush submitted to Congress on Monday. The plan would see the Long Island Sound Study Office allocated a scant $477,000 in the fiscal year beginning October 1, down from about $6.7 Million in the current and previous four years.
“Science and restoration projects are dependent on federal funds,” said Turner, Assistant Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences. “This means the Sound will receive less attention over time. It’s a very commercially important region, an economic engine. A lot of people rely on the Sound. It’s going to be devastating.”
Gobler’s reaction was even bleaker. “In a word? Absurd.”
He described a management plan that had been drafted in 1994 to combat hypoxia (low oxygen levels), which are especially high in the western part of the Sound. “After ten years, the nitrogen levels entering the Sound have dropped significantly. The plan is working.” But without federal funding, it is likely that most efforts will be directed elsewhere. “Basically, this is all going to stop. You can’t run a major EPA office on $400,000.”
“The bottom line is that we can afford $240 billion for Iraq and a half trillion dollar tax cut for the richest people in the country, but only $400,000 to save the Sound.”
For further information contact Chris Gobbler on 631 287-8397 and Robert Turner on 631 287-8396