Update: Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, chaired by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, today released for public review and feedback its comprehensive preliminary strategy for long term ecosystem restoration.

The strategy, which will be presented to President Obama at the end of the public feedback period, represents an historic opportunity for addressing long-standing issues contributing to the decline of the Gulf’s critical ecosystem.

The preliminary strategy is the first effort of its kind to be developed with the involvement of parties throughout the region, including the states, tribes, federal agencies, local governments and thousands of interested citizens and organizations. The plan further represents the Task Force’s commitment to continue working in unprecedented collaboration to achieve critical improvements.

Additionally, the Task Force will begin immediately reviewing existing policies, programs and regulations that are slowing down restoration progress, particularly in the habitat restoration area. Innovative ways to accomplish delivery of restoration action will also be explored, and measures of success and science needs for restoration supported.

This Preliminary Strategy represents the Task Force’s deep commitment to working toward a positive future for the Gulf.  The strategy was developed following more than 40 public meetings throughout the Gulf to listen to the concerns of the public. It is available to the public for review and feedback at www.epa.gov/gulfcoasttaskforce, until 11:59 p.m. EST October 26, 2011.

The Task Force will release the final version in December 2011.

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