News & Resolutions

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Meeting: August 28, 2013 in New Orleans

August 19, 2013 3:30 PM
The public will have the opportunity to offer comments at this RESTORE Council meeting on future Council actions. Can you attend? Let your voice be heard on restoring Louisiana's coast and the Gulf Coast. 
 
It's crucial that Louisiana's hunters, anglers, kayakers, birders, boaters and all those that care about restoring Louisiana's coast convey the sense of urgency in moving forward with restoration projects and addressing the impacts from the oil spill of 2010.  

Here are some points to consider speaking up about:  

  • It is more than a year since the RESTORE Act passed and three years since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The sense of urgency for restoring sustainability to Louisiana's coast grows.
  • The next step for the Council is outlining a list of ecosystem restoration projects that is consistent with the restoration priorities in the RESTORE Act and prioritized based on science.
  • Louisiana has a Coastal Master Plan that presents a clear vision for restoring the coast and includes specific restoration projects, developed using a science-based process.
  • The Council should work with Louisiana to achieve the vision for a sustainable coast and include ecosystem restoration projects from the master plan in the Comprehensive Plan priority project list.
  • Mississippi River Delta restoration projects would create an important cornerstone for Gulf-wide ecosystem restoration because the River is a driving force in returning sustainability to the Gulf coast. Natural river processes built Louisiana's coast and can help sustain the coast.

 It would be good for Council members to hear from you, letting them know you are ready for work to begin and point to projects you believe will restore sustainability to Louisiana's coast.  

MEETING DETAILS:
 
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) will meet on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. CDT to vote on the Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy (Plan). The public is invited to attend the Council Meeting.  
 
The meeting will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Chair of the Council, will preside over the meeting, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be in attendance as a Council member and host of the meeting. Council representatives from the other Gulf States and participating federal agencies will be in attendance. 
 
Meeting materials, including the meeting agenda, the Plan, the “Response to Public Comments,” and a Programmatic Environmental Assessment, will be available beginning August 21, 2013 on the Council’s website: http://www.restorethegulf.gov/.
 
In addition to voting on the Plan, the Council will hear from some of its key restoration partners including representatives from the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Trustees, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) RESTORE Science Program about their Gulf restoration efforts.
 
The Draft Plan and the accompanying Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment were made available for public comment on May 23, 2013, and comments were accepted through July 8, 2013.
 
In June, the Council held public engagement sessions in each of the five impacted Gulf States to ensure the public had an opportunity to submit input on the Draft Plan and the Council’s future restoration planning efforts. In addition, the Council has hosted several Tribal engagement sessions including one on the Draft Plan in June. 
 
The Council received more than 41,000 comments by mail, online and during the engagement meetings. The Plan to be voted on in New Orleans incorporates changes made in response to these comments. The public will have the opportunity to offer comments at the August 28, 2013 meeting on future Council actions. Please preregister for the event if possible. NOTE Registration will close on Sunday, August 25, 2013. On-site registration will be available beginnign two hour prior to the meeting start time.  Below are links to the press release and the preregistration sites.
 
 
 
For more information about the upcoming meeting, please contact the Council at RestoreCouncil@doc.gov. 
 
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