In order to address the long-term environmental, economic, and societal impacts of the Deepwater Horizon-BP oil spill, and weave together local plans and development priorities with state and federal assistance, the President asked Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, to lead the integrated Gulf Coast Reconstruction Effort.
Subsequently, the Secretary spent countless hours in the Gulf, hearing from thousands of local residents, businesses, and elected officials to shape the foundation for his report. The resulting plan balances the needs of the people, the environment, and the economic livelihood of the region. It provides a proposal for a path forward to rebuild and preserve the Gulf’s unique ecosystem, to succeed in creating sustained economic development, and to succeed in giving opportunities back to those whose livelihoods have been shattered by the spill.
To begin to implement the plan, the President has asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to chair the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. This advisory body will focus on efforts to create more resilient and healthy Gulf Coast ecosystems, while also encouraging support for economic recovery and long-term health issues.