Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Releases Draft Initial Comprehensive Plan

TALLAHASSEE – Today DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard, Jr. welcomed the release of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council’s draft Initial Comprehensive Plan. The plan describes the Council’s objectives, the selection process and the evaluation criteria for the types of ecosystem restoration projects and programs that will be funded by the Council.

In response to today’s announcement, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will host two public meetings: the first at 5:30 p.m. June 3 at the Escambia Board of County Commission Chambers in Pensacola and the second at 5:30 p.m. June 17 at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

“I am pleased to see the draft Plan completed so that we can begin the process of seeking public comment on a Plan that will have lasting results on the environment and economic recovery for Floridians,” said Secretary Vinyard. “The state of Florida will continue to work closely with local governments and all others affected by the spill to ensure funding is used to improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico.”

The RESTORE Act, which was passed by Congress on June 29, 2012 and signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012, creates the Council, and establishes various funding categories. The Council is comprised of the five Gulf State Governors and six federal agencies. The Council is required, after notice and opportunity for public comment, to have published an Initial Comprehensive Plan by July 6, 2013.

The meetings will take place:

5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. CST
Monday, June 3
Escambia County Board of County Commission Chambers
221 Palafox Place
Pensacola

5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST
Monday, June 17
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
100 Eighth Avenue SE
St. Petersburg

To view or provide comments on the draft Initial Comprehensive Plan visit www.restorethegulf.gov, or submit written comments by mail to:

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council c/o U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue N.W. Room 4077
Washington, D.C. 20230.

More information on the Florida’s public meetings and state projects can be submitted online by visiting www.deepwaterhorizonflorida.com.

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