Environmental Policy News

Comments Sought for Draft Comprehensive Plan Update by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill led to 2012 passage of the RESTORE Act, which directs 80 percent of associated civil and administrative Clean Water Act penalties to ecosystem restoration, economic recovery, and tourism promotion in the Gulf Coast region.

Comment period closes: 7 October, 2016

To administer a portion of these funds, the RESTORE Act established the Council, composed of principals from the five Gulf Coast States and six federal agencies. One of the Council's primary responsibilities is to develop and update a Comprehensive Plan to restore the ecosystem and the economy of the Gulf Coast region.

The Council approved an Initial Comprehensive Plan in August 2013. Since that time, new and important developments warrant a Comprehensive Plan update, including the resolution of civil claims against BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a source of future funding for the Council's projects. The settlement with BP has provided clarity regarding the amount and timing of funds that will be available to the Council.

Furthermore, the Council is now in a position to develop a Ten-Year Funding Strategy, as required by the RESTORE Act. The Council has also gained valuable knowledge during and after the process of developing and approving (on December 9, 2015) the first set of foundational restoration activities in its Initial Funded Priorities List (FPL). The findings of a retrospective review of the process for developing the FPL are contained in the Lessons Learned and Path Forward Summary Report, which can be viewed here.

The draft 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;
  • 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.

DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY: Copies of the draft Plan update are available at the following office during regular business hours: Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, Hale Boggs Federal Building, 500 Poydras Street, Suite 1117, New Orleans, LA 70130. Electronic versions of the draft Plan update can be viewed and downloaded here.

In general, the Council will make such comments available for public inspection and copying on its Web site, without change, including any business or personal information provided, such as names, addresses, email addresses, or telephone numbers. All comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, will be part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. You should only submit information that you wish to make publicly available.

For more information: Please send questions by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact Will Spoon at (504) 239-9814. Additional information can also be found on the website.


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