(New Orleans, LA – August 21, 2013) Today, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released its Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy. Leading national and local conservation and restoration organizations – Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – released the following statement:
“We thank the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council for its efforts toward a comprehensive plan to restore the invaluable Gulf ecosystem. As the Council takes its next crucial step of prioritizing ecosystem restoration projects, we urge them to embrace the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan as its guiding document for restoring the Mississippi River Delta, which was ground zero for the 2010 Gulf oil disaster.
“Since the Mississippi River and its surrounding wetlands are a driving force behind ensuring a healthy Gulf Coast ecosystem, thriving local economies and protected communities, these Mississippi River Delta restoration projects will create an important cornerstone for Gulf-wide ecosystem restoration. Truly restoring the delta will be a critical component to successfully restoring the entire Gulf region – both ecologically and economically.
“As the Council moves from planning to implementation, it should work with Louisiana to achieve the vision set forth in its Coastal Master Plan. A vibrant Gulf of Mexico starts with a strong Mississippi River Delta.
“We look forward to working with the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council as it moves its plan from conception to completion.”