One More Step Down the Road to Restoration for the Gulf of MexicoWhite House Task Force’s Gulf Ecosystem restoration plan is releasedNew Orleans, LA – Today, we applaud a significant step towards restoring the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of BP’s oil drilling disaster, but there is still, of course, a long road to restoration.While the release of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force’s preliminary strategy for restoration lays out good basic prescriptions for restoring the Gulf, it provides little beyond what was previously known and lacks the specifics we had hoped to see. Where are the measurable goals and outcomes for the restoration agenda? Where will the money for specific projects come from? How can we be sure that restoration decisions are sound if there is no requirement for independent scientific review and a Science Advisory Committee?It is very disappointing that the Task Force has still yet to select the long-promised Citizens’ Advisory Committee that will ensure the voice of our communities is incorporated in restoration planning and implementation. Environmental degradation of the Gulf has negatively affected the economies of many Gulf coast communities, and this plan lacks the necessary direction to ensure a restoration economy actually benefits those who have been most impacted.While we laud the engagement of the Administration in the challenges facing the Gulf of Mexico, and the time and energy that went into the creation of this strategy, we had hoped for more. The threats to the Gulf are significant and growing, it’s critical our nation embrace a bold vision, backed by measurable, specific actions to put this precious natural resource on a path towards sustainability. There is much promise in the efforts of the Task Force, but much more to be done.Any portion of this statement may be quoted with attribution to Aaron Viles, Deputy Director, Gulf Restoration Network. For more information, please contact Aaron Viles directly at 504-525-1528 x 209 or email@example.com.