On Fri., Dec. 16, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, chairman of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration (RESTORE) Council, will lead a public meeting starting at 9 o’clock at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans to vote on an update to the Council’s comprehensive plan to address ongoing restoration efforts after the Gulf Coast Oil Spill.
The RESTORE Council was established by the Gulf disaster, the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) in July 2012 in response to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill. The RESTORE Council is a unique federal-state partnership that brings together a diverse set of expertise and resources from its 11 members. Since its inception, the Council has made significant progress toward restoring ecosystems, economies, and businesses in the region. Vilsack has served as Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Chairman since March 2016.
Over the past four years the Council has invested and prioritized $183 million in restoration projects and developed an Initial Comprehensive Plan that set five overarching goals for restoration. Since 2009, the Obama administration has developed a long-term strategy and inclusive framework to address the coastal resilience needs of the Gulf Coast region; brought federal, state, and local government together to better align decision-making and resources; and secured unprecedented settlement with BP to ensure the Gulf coast communities will have the resources needed to make significant progress toward restoring ecosystems, economies, and businesses in the region over the next 20 years.