Comment submitted by Mary Travaglini, Interim Executive Director, Society for Ecological Restoration (SER)
This is a Comment on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Notice: Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy (Preliminary)
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SER applauds the efforts of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force this past year. The efforts to obtain public and stakeholder engagement including public meetings and listening sessions throughout the Gulf region were especially outstanding. SER believes that promoting consensus-building and leveraging partnerships with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, The Hypoxia Task Force, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council and the National Ocean Council will be critical as this effort moves forward. SER places a high value on the four goals outlined in the Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy:
•Restore and conserve habitat
•Restore water quality
•Replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources
•Enhance community resilience
SER strongly supports the incorporation of science-based adaptive management and monitoring and firmly believes that the Gulf ecosystem requires immediate action.
Most importantly, SER supports the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force’s reiterated recommendations made by Secretary Mabus calling for the U.S. Congress to:
•Formalize the long-term intergovernmental partnership among the Gulf Coast states and the federal government by establishing a successor coordinating body to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.
•Dedicate a significant portion of the eventual Clean Water Act civil penalties resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for Gulf recovery, in addition to current funding for Gulf programs.
Interim Executive Director
Society for Ecological Restoration
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Comment Period Closed
Oct 26 2011, at 11:59 PM ET
Tracking Number: 80f5b3dc
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Date Posted: Oct 26, 2011