Back in June, with oil still spewing from BP’s blown-out well, President Obama charged Navy Secretary Ray Mabus with crafting a Gulf Coast restoration plan that would address the short-term impacts of the spill as well as the long-term environmental challenges facing the region. This week, Mr. Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, pledged that the first iteration of that plan would be unveiled soon.
“My task is to develop a road map for recovery once the oil spill is contained and cleaned up once and for all,” he wrote in an editorial for The Times-Picayune of New Orleans on Tuesday. “On behalf of gulf residents, I will deliver that framework for our path forward to the president within the coming few weeks.”
The report is already the focus of intense interest, with Gulf Coast politicians and local and national nonprofit groups calling for billions of dollars in funds not just to repair the damage caused by the oil spill, but also to restore coastal wetlands degraded by decades of oil and gas development and the wide-scale engineering of the Mississippi River for flood control and navigation.