Executive Director Named for Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force

On October 25 , U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson named John H. Hankinson, Jr. as executive director of the newly-established Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, which President Obama created through an executive order in October.

Hankinson served until recently as board chairman of Audubon of Florida and as southeast regional EPA administrator from 1994 to 2001.  Previously, Hankinson led land acquisition at the St. Johns River Water Management District and was a staff director for the Florida House of Representatives.  A veteran problem solver, he has the skills to bring people together and a strong commitment to coastal conservation.

“John has worked with Audubon through the spill and before to mount an effective response and make a healthy and resilient Gulf Coast a priority,” said Audubon of Florida State Director Eric Draper.

“From our many years working together at EPA, I know John will do an excellent job leading this vital initiative,” said Diane Regas, associate vice president for programs at Environmental Defense Fund.

“We are proud that one of Audubon’s most important leaders is stepping into such an important role in restoring the Gulf,” said Audubon’s Chris Canfield, vice president of Gulf Coast conservation.  “Audubon looks forward to supporting John so that the communities of people and wildlife can heal as quickly as possible.”

“All of the folks and organizations from the national to the local level that love and depend on the Gulf of Mexico must get behind the effort to restore this magnificent resource,” Hankinson said.

Photo courtesy of Audubon of Florida