The Miami Herald

Sandra Bullock, other celebs back Gulf restoration

NEW ORLEANS -- From Sandra Bullock to Drew Brees, more than a dozen celebrities are urging people to sign a petition demanding full funding and implementation of a plan to restore the Gulf of Mexico and its coasts and wetlands.

The video, which is just a minute and 40 seconds long, hit social media websites Tuesday urging viewers to "Be the One" and sign the petition on restorethegulf.com.

The project was dreamed up by "Women of the Storm," a grassroots, nonpartisan group that worked to get attention for Louisiana needs following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Louisiana's wetlands, a haven for fish and seabirds and a flood buffer during the Gulf's notoriously vicious storms, have been washing away for years because of natural and man-made causes. Fears have grown that the massive BP oil spill will do further damage to the delicate area.

The BP spill has at least drawn attention to the Gulf Coast and the danger it faces from the spill and other sources, the group said.

"At last America has recognized the fragility of our wetlands and marshes," said Anne Milling, the founder of the group.

On the video, various celebrities point out the need for national concern for the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida.

"I think these videos play a significant role in what we're trying to do," political strategist James Carville said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Carville, a New Orleans native who moved back to the city in 2008, said if steps are not taken soon to save the area, his descendants may not have that chance. "There may not be a home to go back to, and that's no exaggeration," Carville said.

Women of the Storm is not advocating particular legislation, Milling said.

"We simply seek to demonstrate to national leaders the strong support in every corner of America for the essential funding of the Gulf Coast restoration," she said.

The video and petition are on various social media websites including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Backers hoped to collect one million signatures. On the first day of its release, backers said they were getting 25 signatures a minute.




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