Congress specifically designed the RESTORE Act to require robust public involvement in determining the projects and activities to be funded by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill civil penalties. To begin with, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, made up of state and federal officials, was established to make decisions on allocating 30% of the RESTORE Act funds designated for restoration projects along the Gulf Coast. These funds could be upwards of $20 billion dollars.
Outgoing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson called on the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to establish a Citizen Advisory Committee that would give a forum for participation by non-governmental organizations, including environmental, conservation, fishing, and community stakeholder groups in the development and implementation of a Gulf-wide restoration plan.
But Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council has not yet establish this Citizen Advisory Committee – and they continue to move forward in restoration planning without allowing for meaningful community input. We strongly believe a Citizens Advisory Committee is an essential piece of the process. Engagement from coastal residents and citizens is needed for effective participation in implementing a Gulf-wide ecosystem restoration plan.
Now we are asking our supporters in helping us urge Governors to establish a Citizen Advisory Committee.
Please take a moment to share your support with your governor. With the Council's restoration plan due in July 2013, we need to urge the governors of the Gulf States to create a Gulf Coast Citizen Advisory Committee now. Please sign and share this petition today.