With the release of the Task Force's Final Strategy, we're encouraged to see it accompanied by an announcement of funding from USDA for a specific project that advances the Strategy's goals, and we look forward to other Task Force members quickly following that lead.
The Final Strategy does a great job of articulating the 30,000 foot perspective, and we anxiously look forward to the specific, measurable goals and timelines that the Final Strategy promises in the next six months to guide prioritized restoration projects on the ground. Essentially, the Gulf region needs a major investment from the nation, and while any good business plan needs a strong narrative, no smart investor would ever consider a new business that didn't have a budget, clear distribution of responsibilities, and specific goals with timelines.
The Final Strategy document clearly incorporates much of the huge outpouring of public comment that it received by focusing on the next six month's implementation plan development, but it must be noted that the long-promised Citizens' Advisory Council to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force has yet to be seated. To continue to gain the valuable insights provided by the public and ensure strong partnerships moving forward, the Citizens' Advisory Council must be instated immediately.
Gulf Restoration Network thanks the Task Force for their hard work so far, and we look forward to seeing results on-the-ground soon.
Any portion of this statement may be quoted with attribution to Aaron Viles, Deputy Director of the Gulf Restoration Network.