Over 100 days into this disaster, The Deepwater Horizon Response (DHR) Unified Area Command (UAC) in New Orleans has finally established a Non-Government Organizations Unit (NGOs) to strengthen the partnership with the numerous NGOs that have a vested interest in the response to the DHR Incident. This unit will focus on engaging local nonprofit, faith-based, academic, and business groups in the response to the oil disaster response.Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) have played a vital role in the response to one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history, and will be integral to the success of the recovery and restoration of the Gulf Coast.The NGO Unit will be staffed by representatives from the Department of the Interior, including U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanograhic and Atmospheric Administration, and Volunteer Agency Liaisons (VAL) from the NIC Integrated Services Team.Although this is coming late in the game, we welcome the creation of this new Unit and hope that the decision-makers will listen and respond to the requests and input that these groups have to offer. Local expertise of this endangered and fragile ecosystem and the unique communities of the Gulf Coast are invaluable. The information they have to offer should be carefully integrated into the response effort.To register your group or to submit a question click here.