WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 24, 2010) – The ongoing Gulf oil spill poses an historic challenge to the national parks in the Gulf region, and beyond. The National Park Foundation, official charity of America’s national parks, today launched the National Parks Disaster Recovery Fund. The public outreach and fundraising campaign will support the National Park Service’s response to the Gulf oil spill, and will also serve to create lasting capacity to help national parks recover from future natural and man-made disasters. No funds raised will be used to mitigate the liability of any responsible parties for the injuries caused by the oil spill.
“The federal government’s unprecedented response to the environmental disaster in the Gulf is matched only by the desire of the American people to help,” said Tom Strickland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks of the U.S. Department of the Interior. “Thanks to this effort by the National Park Foundation, those who wish to help us protect national parks threatened by the oil spill can do so.”
Strickland continued, “While donated funds will be available to affected parks for immediate needs throughout the disaster as well as long-term monitoring of the health of the damaged ecosystems, donated funds will not reduce the financial obligation of those responsible for the spill.”
“This is a defining moment in the history of our national parks. The public is eager to support their national parks and the National Parks Disaster Recovery Fund is an important way to take action,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “With an increasing number of natural disasters like flooding, fires and hurricanes, combined with man-made catastrophes like the Gulf oil spill, it is time that we move strategically to make sure that our national parks have the resources they need to recover.”
To support this effort, visit www.nationalparks.org or text “PARKS” to 90999 on your mobile device to make a $10 donation. Funds raised between now and September 1, 2010, will go directly to the impacted parks in the Gulf and support critical and immediate needs as well as sustained scientific study of maintenance of impacted ecosystems.
Parks in the projected path of the Gulf oil spill include:
· Big Cypress National Preserve
· Biscayne National Park
· De Soto National Memorial
· Dry Tortugas National Park
· Everglades National Park
· Gulf Islands National Seashore
· Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
· Padre Island National Seashore
To learn more about ways you can help visit www.nationalparks.org or www.helpparks.org.
For information about the national parks’ response to the oil spill please visit: http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/oil-spill-response.htm.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
You are the part-owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to help connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us – This is Your Land. www.nationalparks.org
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Mark Shields, National Park Foundation
(202)354-6480, [email protected]