RI Senator proposes National Endowment for the Oceans

Providence, R.I. – Saying the Gulf disaster demonstrates man's disregard for his environment, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse announced he's teaming up with Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine to launch a National Endowment for the Oceans.

It would fund projects that promote the vitality of the seas, coastal areas and the Great Lakes. Whitehouse says the BP oil spill should provide the impetus needed to pass the legislation.

"I believe we can tag it as responding to the gusher that continues to geyser oil and that makes it topical which is important from a legislative point of view," Whitehouse says. "It is bipartisan and because of the way the funding sources are designed it does not require new taxes or revenues."

The Endowment would be funded with interest from the Oil Spill Liability Trust fund and a portion of revenues generated from offshore energy development.