Father’s Day is always a time for me to reflect and be thankful for all the time I’ve spent with my dad.

That almost always means remembering the great trips we’ve made together to hunt and fish in Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

We recently spent a day in the marshes of Terrebonne Parish catching redfish and bass, and enjoying the wonderful and unique bounty of our coast.

The continued loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands threatens that bounty, not just for me and my dad but for all who enjoy spending time in the outdoors. Our state is losing land faster than anywhere else in the world, and that land loss means we could lose our wildlife, fisheries, communities, and unique culture and heritage.

Right now, Congress is considering a bill that would dedicate 80 percent of the fines collected through the Clean Water Act from last year’s oil leak to restoring the Gulf Coast. That restoration would include construction of a host of projects that could help reverse nearly a century of coastal land loss in our state.

Without that legislation, billions of dollars that should be used for restoring our wetlands and barrier islands could simply go into the federal treasury to be spent all across the country on whatever Congress sees fit. It is absolutely unfair that Congress should get a financial windfall at the expense of our coast.

My family and sportsmen across the country urge Congress to pass this legislation and finally live up to the promise to restore Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

Fathers and their children should have the opportunity to hunt and fish together in Louisiana’s coastal wetlands for generations to come.

Wesley Johnson, president

East Ascension Sportsman’s League