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RIGS TO REEFS - UPDATE

Governor Perry Urges for Review of Idle Iron Policy

AUSTIN, TX - In a letter to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Texas Governor Rick Perry is calling for a review of the federal government's "Idle Iron" policy that threatens to dismantle what is regarded as the largest artificial reef system in the world. In the letter, Perry says that the policy will have profound negative implications for marine fisheries and the local coastal communities and businesses that rely on the fishing opportunities that these structures provide in the Gulf.

"I understand the factors that may have influenced the decision to order the blanket removal of these structures in the aftermath of the tragic oil spill of 2010," Perry states in the letter. "However, a more balanced, reasoned response is required in light of irrefutable evidence that these structures are the basis for thriving ecosystems that harbor and sustain an immense diversity of life above and below the waterline, including seabirds, fish, turtles, marine mammals and corals."

CCA Applauds Texas Governor Perry

"We are grateful to Gov. Perry for weighing in on this issue on behalf of recreational anglers, divers and everyone who cares for a vibrant marine environment," said Pat Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. "A more reasoned process is exactly what is needed to preserve these structures that form the basis of thriving marine ecosystems off Texas and all over the Gulf of Mexico."

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