Agency administrator surveys the Gulf’s ecosystem restoration progress
On the one-year anniversary of the explosion that led to the BP oil spill, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson spent yesterday in her hometown of New Orleans surveying ecosystem restoration progress and discussing her work to preserve and restore the gulf with community members and local conservation groups.
Jackson, who chairs the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, began the day by touring marshes and wetlands along the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts. She later joined a group of community members for a tour of a successful marsh restoration project at Bayou Dupont. The project involved the dredging of 2.7 million cu yd of sediment from a sandbar on the Mississippi River to create hundreds of acres of new land that can help absorb potential storm surges and serve as the foundation for thriving ecosystems.
“It was important to me to be in my hometown of New Orleans on the anniversary of the rig explosion that claimed 11 lives and led to the largest oil spill in our nation’s history,” Jackson said. “It was inspiring to see some of the recovery work that is already taking place and be reminded of the resolve of the people here.”
EPA also announced the availability of grant funding for local organizations supporting health and environmental education and outreach to communities affected by the oil spill.
President Obama issued an executive order in October 2010 to create the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and appointed Jackson to chair. The task force works to integrate federal restoration efforts with those of local stakeholders and state and tribal governments and to facilitate accountability and support throughout the restoration process.