Obama Administration Announces New Leader of Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council


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.”