Archive for Media Resources


Conservation Organizations Thank Secretary Jewell for Visiting Gulf Coast

June 21, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in Media Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, jimmy.frederick@crcl.org
John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, jlopez@saveourlake.org

Conservation Organizations Thank Secretary Jewell for Visiting Gulf Coast
Groups Urge Investment in Large-Scale Restoration with BP Dollars

(New Orleans, LA – June 21, 2016) This week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell is visiting Louisiana to highlight the Department’s restoration projects selected for funding last year by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) prior to the BP settlement.

Leading national and local conservation organizations working on Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast restoration – Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – supported these projects and released the following statement:

“We are grateful that Secretary Jewell is here this week to spotlight the region and these important restoration projects. Secretary Jewell now has an opportunity and responsibility to drive large-scale restoration that we need across the Gulf Coast. With real money becoming available through the BP oil spill settlement, Secretary Jewell, along with other agency and state leaders, has a specific window to move forward the Council’s commitment to large-scale projects that will set the Gulf Coast on a long-term path to a sustainable future.

“In particular, Louisiana's land loss crisis – and the effort to stop and reverse it – falls within the Department of the Interior's jurisdiction given the resources it's tasked with protecting.  We appreciate the Secretary's personal investment in getting restoration projects started on the ground and need her continued leadership and commitment in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast.”

The Department of Interior (DOI) manages three parks or refuges in the lower Mississippi River Delta, one each in the Breton Basin, the active Bird’s Foot Delta, and the Barataria Basin, as well as several other refuges in the Pontchartrain Basin, Terrebonne Basin, the Atchafalaya Basin, and the Chenier Plain. These provide some of the continent’s most important habitat for DOI Trust Resources, including alligators, alligator snapping turtles, diamond-back terrapins, marsh birds, wintering waterfowl, colonial nesting water birds, migratory stopover habitat for neotropical migrants, and prime habitat for mink, muskrat, otter and Louisiana black bears. All are likely to experience profound effects from continued land loss and subsidence, and without land-building restoration measures are potentially doomed by future sea level rise.

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The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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Louisiana Legislature Passes Resolution Funding State’s 2016-2017 Coastal Activities

May 20, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in 2012 Coastal Master Plan, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), Media Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, jimmy.frederick@crcl.org
John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, jlopez@saveourlake.org

Louisiana Legislature Passes Resolution Funding State’s 2016-2017 Coastal Activities

Resolution Directs Investment of $736 Million to Key Restoration and Protection Projects

(Baton Rouge, LA– May 20, 2016) Yesterday, in a unanimous vote, the Louisiana Senate approved House Concurrent Resolution 2 (HCR -2), resulting in final passage of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s 2016-2017 annual plan for coastal protection and restoration through the legislature. The resolution directs $736 million toward coastal restoration and protection activities over the course of fiscal year 2017 – from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 – and outlines the state’s prioritization of projects during that period. This authorization will fund some of the 19 priority projects for restoring Louisiana’s coast as identified by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition.

In response, coalition members including Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation released the following statement:

“We applaud the Louisiana Legislature on their continued prioritization of coastal restoration and protection at this moment in our state’s history. Without consistent, determinative action outlined in the Coastal Master Plan to confront Louisiana’s land loss crisis, more communities, industries and wildlife are at risk of further destruction.

“We are grateful to Governor John Bel Edwards and CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry for their leadership in defending coastal dollars and prioritizing the most promising, science-based restoration projects outlined in the state’s Coastal Master Plan. We also thank Representative Stuart J. Bishop for shepherding this resolution through the legislature.

“This annual plan recognizes the importance of coastal restoration and protection as equal pillars in ensuring a resilient future for our state, its residents, wildlife and industries. We applaud the inclusion of a comprehensive suite of projects, including barrier island restoration, sediment diversions and community resiliency efforts, that can work together to address the variety of problems afflicting our coast. We are encouraged to see the advancement of restoration in some areas impacted by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and recommend CPRA further prioritize restoration of this region.

“Our coalition looks forward to working with the state and others as they finalize the 2017 Coastal Master Plan that will provide an updated roadmap for coastal restoration and protection.”

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The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org.

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What does 200 million tons of sediment look like?

May 11, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration, Media Resources

In the past two years, nearly 200 million tons of sediment have flowed past our vanishing wetlands and off the continental shelf.

This sediment is the key to rebuilding our coast – providing wildlife and fisheries habitat and protecting our communities for generations to come.

View the sediment counter to learn more!

Sediment Infographic FINAL

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Oil Spill Anniversary Spotlights Opportunity for Largest Restoration Effort in American History

April 20, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in BP Oil Disaster, Media Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact

Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Rachel Guillory, Ocean Conservancy, 504.208.5816, rguillory@oceanconservancy.org
Andrew Blejwas, The Nature Conservancy, 617.785.7047, ablejwas@tnc.org

OIL SPILL ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHTS OPPORTUNITY FOR LARGEST RESTORATION EFFORT IN AMERICAN HISTORY

(Washington, DC —April 20, 2016) Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Gulf oil disaster, which killed 11 men and began an oil spill that would dump more than 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier finalized the historic $20.8 billion settlement with BP – the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history – for the massive damages caused by the spill.

Groups working on Gulf restoration, including: Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Ocean Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy, issued the following statement:

“The opportunity to begin the biggest environmental restoration effort in American history is now a groundbreaking reality for the Gulf, following the finalization of the settlement with BP.

“In the aftermath of the spill, elected officials, state and federal agencies and residents across the Gulf worked together as never before to ensure passage of the RESTORE Act to benefit the ecosystems and communities of the region.

“We are eager to continue this work with both state and federal leaders to quickly update the RESTORE Act Comprehensive Plan, and advance restoration work.

“Restoring the Gulf wholly and correctly — and sooner rather than later — means that we’re fast tracking the region’s resilience, and protecting the people, wildlife and jobs across the Gulf for the benefit of the entire nation.”

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Conservation Groups Praise Governor Edwards’ Executive Order on Coastal Master Plan

April 4, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in 2012 Coastal Master Plan, coastal restoration, Media Resources, State Legislature

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, jimmy.frederick@crcl.org
John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, jlopez@saveourlake.org

Conservation Groups Praise Governor Edwards’ Executive Order on Coastal Master Plan

Order Underscores State’s Prioritization of Comprehensive Coastal Restoration and Protection

(NEW ORLEANS – April 4, 2016) Moments ago, Governor John Bel Edwards signed Executive Order NO. JBE 2016 – 09 underscoring the state’s prioritization of coastal restoration and protection activities and requiring all state agencies, departments and offices to adhere to the Coastal Master Plan to the greatest degree possible. In response, national and local organizations comprising the Restore the Mississippi River Delta CoalitionEnvironmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – released the following statement:

“This executive order strongly affirmed the state’s commitment to coastal restoration and protection today. With billions of dollars already invested in a master plan that has benefitted tens of thousands of acres with more forthcoming, we applaud Governor Edwards for helping to remove barriers and ensure efficiency in the state’s fight to save its coast.

“We’re all in this together, and we need to work together to undertake what the Governor has outlined as a top state priority in the years ahead. This order helps to ensure that agencies and departments will work cooperatively and leverage resources wherever possible to get the job done.

“This collaboration and unified front is especially important with Louisiana in the midst of one of the largest ecosystem restoration programs in U.S. history. We have a golden opportunity to get this right – and that also means protecting funding for and advancing projects in the Coastal Master Plan. Our organizations will continue to work with Governor Edwards and all stakeholders to do just that.”

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The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org.

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BP Oil Spill Fines Clear Way for Largest Restoration Effort in U.S. History

| Posted by Emily McCalla in BP Oil Disaster, Federal Policy, Media Resources, RESTORE Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact:
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Rachel Guillory, Ocean Conservancy, 504.208.5816, rguillory@oceanconservancy.org
Andrew Blejwas, The Nature Conservancy, 617.785.7047, ablejwas@tnc.org 

BP Oil Spill Fines Clear Way for Largest Restoration Effort in U.S. History

State and federal leaders have once-in-a-lifetime window to make good on promises

(NEW ORLEANS – April 4, 2016) Groups working on Gulf restoration lauded news today of the signing of the consent decree between the Department of Justice and BP. The agreement is the final step to settling BP’s penalties for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

Groups including Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Ocean Conservancy, and The Nature Conservancy, released the following statement:

“Today’s approval by Judge Carl Barbier means that billions of dollars for the largest environmental restoration effort in American history can finally be put to work. Funding under the provisions of the RESTORE Act and for natural resource damages will now be guaranteed for the next 17 years. This is a unique opportunity for state and federal agencies to work together toward a more resilient Gulf of Mexico. If done right, investment in the Gulf can have lasting benefits for the region and the nation.

“Now is a time for big thinking across funding streams. This is a defining moment for the RESTORE Council and Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation leaders and others to all pull together and make good on years of promises for Gulf Coast restoration and resilience.”

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LA Business Organizations Tout Significant Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration to Gov. Edwards

March 14, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in 2012 Coastal Master Plan, coastal restoration, Economy, Job Creation, Media Resources, State Legislature

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, jimmy.frederick@crcl.org
John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, jlopez@saveourlake.org
Caitlin Berni, Greater New Orleans, Inc., 504.527.6980, cberni@gnoinc.org

Louisiana Business Organizations Tout Significant Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration to Governor John Bel Edwards

Groups Urge Edwards to Protect Coastal Funding, Advance Master Plan for Long-term Prosperity of State

(New Orleans – March 14, 2016) Today, the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition sent a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards signed by 29 Louisiana business associations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and civic groups urging him to protect funding for coastal restoration and to move forward with the implementation of the state’s Coastal Master Plan. The groups thanked Governor Edwards for his leadership in protecting coastal restoration funds from mid-year budget cuts and for his continued statements that coastal funds should only be used for coastal restoration and protection.

“Our ongoing land loss crisis creates significant business risks to the many industries that depend on a healthy Gulf ecosystem,” said the letter. “A recent study prepared for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority evaluated the economic impact of coastal land loss in the state. Their report showed that another 25 years of continued land loss would cost residents and business owners $2.1 billion to replace commercial and residential properties, roads, rails and pipelines lost due to erosion. Disruption to business activities during that same time period would cause an additional loss of $5.8 billion. Implementing our Coastal Master Plan can help reduce such losses.”

“Investing in coastal restoration will not only reduce the economic impact to businesses and communities, but will actually grow the economy through development of a new water management sector and expertise,” continued the letter. “The expected infusion of billions of dollars in coming years from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlements, GOMESA and other sources will fuel the creation of jobs and expansion of companies working in this sector.”

A recent analysis by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition based on The Data Center’s methodology shows that water management – which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management – is the fastest growing industry in southeast Louisiana, with more than 32,000 jobs. Coastal restoration is not only the biggest job creator in the region, it also has some of the highest-paying jobs, averaging $69,277 per year.

“Coastal restoration projects will not only rebuild our vanishing coast – they will create and sustain jobs, protect communities and provide a sustainable future for the people and industries that call Louisiana home,” said Steve Cochran, Campaign Director for the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition. “By safeguarding coastal dollars for coastal efforts, the state is keeping its commitment to restoring and protecting Louisiana’s coast.”

“Coastal restoration and protection will create long-lasting, good-paying jobs and be an economic driver for Louisiana,” said Michael Hecht, President of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “As evidenced in GNO, Inc.’s ‘State of the Sector: Water Management’ report, there are currently 30,350 people employed in the water management sector in the Greater New Orleans region. Additionally, this sector is predicted to grow by 23 percent over the next ten years. And with the influx of hundreds of millions of dollars in oil spill money for coastal restoration over the next 16 years – money that is dedicated solely to this growing industry – we will continue to create jobs and provide economic opportunities for the people and industries of coastal Louisiana.”

“The citizens and businesses of Louisiana are relying on you, as our new governor, to prioritize coastal restoration, protect coastal restoration funding and continue to implement restoration plans,” concluded the letter. “Thank you for your continuing attention to this top priority for Louisiana business interests and citizens.”

Read the letter in full along with all signers here: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/03/14/mrd-coalition-sends-governor-edwards-letter-touting-economic-potential-of-coastal-restoration/.

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The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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330 Groups Call on President Obama to Protect Critical Funding for Coastal Restoration

March 8, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in 2012 Coastal Master Plan, coastal restoration, Media Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, jimmy.frederick@crcl.org
John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, jlopez@saveourlake.org

330 Groups Call on President Obama to Protect Critical Funding for Coastal Restoration

Gulf of Mexico Energy and Security Act (GOMESA) Provides Crucial Source of Restoration Dollars

(NEW ORLEANS – March 8, 2016) Today, the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition sent a letter to President Obama signed by 330 groups, ranging from local governments and business and industry to environmental organizations and community groups, in response to his 2017 proposed budget that redirects funds from the Gulf of Mexico Energy and Security Act (GOMESA) away from Gulf Coast restoration. In the letter, the signers urge the President to reconsider, saying the move would weaken Louisiana’s ability to address its severe land loss crisis for the benefit of the region and the country.

“You have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to Louisiana’s ongoing recovery and its importance to the nation,” the groups stated in the letter. “We believe your proposal to redistribute GOMESA dollars is inconsistent with that very worthy commitment, and we were disappointed to see it again as a part of the budget discussion this year.” The letter continues, “The restoration of coastal Louisiana’s wetlands is one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time. The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) will soon provide the only consistent source of federal funds to continue its implementation.”

The U.S. Congress passed GOMESA in 2006 by an overwhelming majority, authorizing the sharing of 37.5 percent of revenues from oil and gas leasing activities with the five Gulf states. Other states receive 50 percent of revenues from similar activity that occurs on their lands, with no restrictions on how to use the money. At the time of passage of GOMESA, advocates argued that the Gulf states should receive similar treatment, as they support and bear the effects of these activities.

The letter concludes, “We respectfully request that you reconsider that approach as you work with us and our communities to build the kind of long term resilience we can achieve.”

Revenue sharing from GOMESA is set to begin in earnest in 2017. GOMESA funding is critical to implementing the state’s Coastal Master Plan – a science-based blueprint that ties ecosystem restoration with community protection and resiliency. In 2006, Louisiana voters constitutionally dedicated this funding stream to the state’s Coastal Trust Fund, which supports master plan implementation.

“This move is not only bad for Louisiana, it’s bad for the nation, as it threatens the Louisiana communities, industries and wildlife that help feed and fuel our entire country,” said Steve Cochran, Campaign Director for the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition.

Read the letter in full along with all signers here: www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/03/08/mrd-coalition-sends-president-obama-a-letter-on-gomesa-funding/

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The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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MRD Coalition Sends President Obama a Letter Urging for Protection of GOMESA Funding

| Posted by Emily McCalla in 2012 Coastal Master Plan, coastal restoration, Media Resources

Today, the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition sent a letter to President Obama signed by 330 groups, ranging from local governments and business and industry to environmental organizations and community groups, in response to his 2017 proposed budget that redirects funds from the Gulf of Mexico Energy and Security Act (GOMESA) away from Gulf Coast restoration. In the letter, the signers urge the President to reconsider, saying the move would weaken Louisiana’s ability to address its severe land loss crisis for the benefit of the region and the country.

View the full letter below:

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Obama Administration Announces New Leader of Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

March 1, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in Federal Policy, Media Resources, RESTORE Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact:
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Rachel Guillory, Ocean Conservancy, 504.208.5816, rguillory@oceanconservancy.org
Andrew Blejwas, The Nature Conservancy, 617.785.7047, ablejwas@tnc.org 

Obama Administration Announces New Leader of Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
U.S. Department of Agriculture Succeeds U.S. Department of Commerce as Council Chair

(Washington, D.C. – March 1, 2016) Today, the Obama Administration announced a new chair for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will replace the U.S. Department of Commerce as the lead agency on the Council, driving restoration planning and implementation as the Gulf states continue to recover from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster.

Groups, including Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Ocean Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy, issued the following statement:

“As the new chair of the RESTORE Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is going to help lead the largest environmental restoration effort in American history. The USDA is up to this considerable challenge. We look forward to working with them to establish a Comprehensive Plan that includes a clear framework for success.

“We are grateful for the service of the Department of Commerce and Secretary Penny Pritzker as the first chair of the Council. The startup of the RESTORE Council was a huge task, and the Department of Commerce provided important leadership in organizing the Council and securing approval of the first round of projects under the provisions of the RESTORE Act.

“We stand ready to help and support the new chair, the RESTORE Council and its individual state and federal agency members in taking advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use Deepwater Horizon-related funding to advance our mutual goal of Gulf of Mexico restoration.”

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