Through an executive order signed today, President Barack Obama has created a Gulf Coast Restoration Task Force to help address and resolve the damage to the region caused by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force will be comprised of federal, state and local representatives. The task force has been assigned the job of coordinating efforts between agencies to identify and solve issues. The executive order states:
“Ecosystem restoration will support economic vitality, enhance human health and safety, protect infrastructure, enable communities to better withstand impact from storms and climate change, sustain safe seafood and clean water, provide recreational and cultural opportunities, protect and preserve sites that are of historical and cultural significance, and contribute to the overall resilience of our coastal communities and nation.”
There will be officials on the task force from 11 federal departments and agencies, as set forth in the order. These officials will also work with representatives from the five states of the Gulf, and some tribal groups.
Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, will be the head of the task force. According to the order, the force will be advisory, will help to coordinate government efforts, and also develop a strategy for restoration.