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State of Texas
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
News Release
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Releases Draft Comprehensive Plan Update

~ A series of public meetings will be held across the Gulf Coast ~

NEW ORLEANS, LA - The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) today released a proposed update to its 2013 Comprehensive Plan. The draft provides important additional strategic guidance for the Council to follow as it makes decisions on funding projects and activities aimed at restoring the Gulf of Mexico.

The draft Comprehensive Plan Update is intended to improve Council decisions by:

·         Reinforcing the Council's goals and objectives;

·         Setting forth an initial Ten-Year Funding Strategy;

·         Establishing the Council's vision for Gulf restoration;

·         Increasing collaboration among Council members and partner restoration programs;

·         Providing for advancement of large-scale projects and programs;

·         Refining the process for ensuring that the Council's decisions are informed by the best available science; and

·         Improving the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of Council actions.

The Council is updating its Initial Comprehensive Plan now in order to take into account recent developments in Gulf restoration such as the resolution of civil claims against BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a source of future funding for the Council’s projects. The update also captures important public input and lessons learned from the process of developing and approving its initial Funded Priorities List (FPL), its first slate of restoration activities to be funded through the RESTORE Act, and positions the Council to make the most effective use of future funds as they become available beginning in 2017.

"The Council is pleased to present this draft Comprehensive Plan Update to the public and we look forward to your comments," said Justin R. Ehrenwerth, Executive Director of the Council. "We want to hear your thoughts on how the Council can best move forward with comprehensive restoration across the coast."

Public comments on the draft Comprehensive Plan Update will be accepted from August 23, 2016 to October 7, 2016.

The schedule of upcoming public meetings to discuss the draft Comprehensive Plan Update and seek public input is as follows:

Sept. 8, 2016

Webinar
Register to attend the webinar
here

5:00 p.m. CST

Sept. 12, 2016

Gulf Coast State College
Language & Literature Building,

Room 38, 5230 West US Hwy. 98

Panama City, FL, 32401

Open house: 5:00 p.m.
Meeting: 6:00 p.m.,CST

Sept. 19, 2016 

University of New Orleans

Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center

2000 Lakeshore Drive

New Orleans, LA, 70148

Open house: 5:00 p.m.

Meeting: 6:00 p.m.,CST

Sept. 20, 2016

5 Rivers Delta Resource Center

30945 Five Rivers Boulevard

Spanish Fort, AL, 36527

Open house: 5:00 p.m.

Meeting: 6:00 p.m., CST

Sept. 22, 2016

Morgan City Municipal Auditorium

728 Myrtle Street

Morgan City, LA, 70381

Open house: 5:00 p.m.

Meeting: 6:00 p.m., CST

Sept. 26, 2016

University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast

Fleming Education Center Auditorium

730 East Beach Boulevard

Long Beach, MS, 39560

Open house: 5:00 p.m.

Meeting: 6:00 p.m., CST

Sept. 29, 2016

Sea Scout Base

7509 Broadway

Galveston, TX, 77554

Open house: 5:00 p.m.

Meeting: 6:00 p.m., CST

Oct. 4, 2016

Webinar

Register to attend the webinar here

2:00 p.m. CST


The draft Comprehensive Plan Update can be found at www.RestoreTheGulf.gov. In additional to providing comments in person at the public meeting or via webinar, there are three other options available to Gulf stakeholders:

·         Online here

·         By mail to: Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, Attention: Draft Comprehensive Plan Update Comments, Hale Boggs Federal Building, 500 Poydras Street, Suite 1117, New Orleans, LA 70130; and

·         By e-mail to frcomments@restorethegulf.gov.

Background

The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act) established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) and the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (Trust Fund), and dedicates 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Trust Fund, for restoration projects in the Gulf Coast region. The Council is responsible for administering 60 percent of the total funding allocated from the Trust Fund: 30 percent (plus interest) under the Council-Selected Restoration Component and 30 percent under the Spill Impact Component. The Council is chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and members include the Governors of the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, as well as the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, the Army and the Interior, and the Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Council is responsible for helping to restore the ecosystems and economies of the Gulf Coast region by developing and overseeing implementation of a Comprehensive Plan and carrying out other responsibilities. Read more about the Comprehensive Plan, the RESTORE Act and the Council at www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.




Remembering Jim Guidry


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