Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Federal-State Task Force Releases Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Strategy For Public Review

Today (October 5), the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force released its comprehensive preliminary strategy for long term Gulf of Mexico ecosystem restoration.  Entitled "Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy (Preliminary)," the strategy will be available for public review and feedback through October 26.

The strategy calls, in part, for working in the Gulf of Mexico and upstream in the Mississippi River Basin to reduce the loading of nitrogen and phosphorus into the Gulf "by supporting state nutrient reduction frameworks, new nutrient reduction approaches, and targeted watershed work to reduce agricultural and urban sources of nutrients."

According to an EPA press release, the strategy represents an opportunity to address "long-standing issues contributing to the decline of the Gulf’s critical ecosystem." The Task Force is an advisory body comprised of lead officials from the five Gulf states, and from 11 Federal agencies and White House offices.  It is chaired by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson. The Task Force will release the final version in December 2011, following review of public input received during the current comment period. 

The strategy will be available to the public for review and feedback at the Task Force Home Page, through October 26.  Comments can be submitted by email, fax, first class mail or in person as described below:

  • (202) 566-9744
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center
Office of Environmental Information Docket, Mail Code 28221T
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20460

Hand Delivery:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center
EPA West Building, Room 3334
1301 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004

Comments will be posted to an on-line docket as they are received (see this Task Force web site for more on public involvement in Task Force activities).

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