Three months after President Obama pledged his commitment to Gulf Coast restoration in a June address from the Oval Office, the White House released a report yesterday that outlines recommendations for ecosystem restoration and economic recovery in the region affected by the BP oil spill. The paper was drafted by a working group led by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who once served as the Governor of Mississippi.
Several conference calls were held to coincide with the publication of America's Gulf Coast: A Long Term Recovery Plan After The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Along with four other non-profits, the Environmental Defense Fund issued a press release on Tuesday that offered broad support for the central tenets of the Mabus report, including the creation of a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force chaired by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
By an overwhelming majority, residents of the Gulf Coast want their political leaders to deliver on the promise of environmental restoration. Still, the path to recovery is far from finished, as funding for the recommendations in the Mabus report has not yet been finalized in Congress.
In the next few days, we’ll be writing more about what this could mean for economic development and job creation in the coastal zone, but for now, we’d like to hear from you. Take a look through the report and send us your thoughts.