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Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to Meet on August 28, 2013

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) will meet on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. CDT to vote on the Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy (Plan).  The public is invited to attend the Council Meeting.    

The meeting will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Chair of the Council, will preside over the meeting, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be in attendance as a Council member and host of the meeting.  Council representatives from the other Gulf States and participating federal agencies will be in attendance.

Preregister for the Council meeting: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=b6avr5nab&oeidk=a07e7zqu9pdb1ffa1df Pre-registration ends at midnight CST on August 25, 2013. On-site registration will be available on August 28, 2013 beginning two hours prior to the meeting start time.

Meeting materials, including the meeting agenda, the Plan, the “Response to Public Comments,” and a Programmatic Environmental Assessment, will be available beginning August 21, 2013 on the Council’s website: http://www.restorethegulf.gov/.

In addition to voting on the Plan, the Council will hear from some of its key restoration partners including representatives from the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Trustees, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) RESTORE Science Program about their Gulf restoration efforts.

The Draft Plan and the accompanying Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment were made available for public comment on May 23, 2013, and comments were accepted through July 8, 2013. In June, the Council held public engagement sessions in each of the five impacted Gulf States to ensure the public had an opportunity to submit input on the Draft Plan and the Council’s future restoration planning efforts.  In addition, the Council has hosted several Tribal engagement sessions including one on the Draft Plan in June. 

The Council received more than 41,000 comments by mail, online and during the engagement meetings. The Plan to be voted on in New Orleans incorporates changes made in response to these comments. The public will have the opportunity to offer comments at the August 28, 2013 meeting on future Council actions. 

For more information about the upcoming meeting, please contact the Council at RestoreCouncil@doc.gov.