Gulf Restoration Task Force Begins

oil
TAMPA (2010-11-8) -

The oil spill has been stopped, but the damage to the Gulf of Mexico in many ways has just begun. Now, the federal government is trying to marshal various resources to help restore fragile ecosystems.

The initial response to the BP oil spill in April was a somewhat haphazard melange of the EPA, the Coast Guard - and BP itself. The feds are now trying to coordinate the various efforts being done to detect the extent of the damage - and what can be done to repair its effects on marine wildlife.

Today, the first public meeting of the Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Task Force will be held in Pensacola. It will be headed by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and John Hankinson Jr, of St. Augustine.

The Florida native served as head of the EPA's southeast region in the 1990's and has spent 30 years working on environmental issues. He worked on the National Estuary Program in the Gulf and helped oversee the restoration of the St. John's River. Hankinson has pledged to develop a regional ecosystem restoration strategy and ensure that science underpins the task force's efforts.

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