On Wednesday, August 28, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council held a public meeting and officially adopted the Initial Comprehensive Plan that will guide regional restoration for the foreseeable future. The Plan was broadly circulated in draft form throughout most of the summer, receiving over 41,000 comments from the public meetings as well as written input.

Governor Bobby Jindal opened the meeting and noted the importance of building on existing efforts in a coordinated and intentional way. “Ecosystem restoration and resilience is important and must be coordinated. We must focus on planning and management as well as projects,” Governor Jindal said.

After other Council representatives echoed the need for coordination,  Secretary of Commerce and Council Chair Penny Pritzker noted that the Council’s goal is to begin selecting and funding projects within the next 12 months.

Other presentations at the Council meeting included an update on NRDA by NRDA Trustee Council Chair Mimi Drew of Florida; an update on the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program by Acting Director Russ Beard; and an update on the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund by Vice President Tom Kelsch. Russ Beard of NOAA’s RESTORE Act Science Program noted, “The goal at the end of all this is a robust Gulf economy and a sustainable Gulf ecosystem.”

Click to download a copy of the Initial Comprehensive Plan

For other related documents, go to www.restorethegulf.gov.