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LA - Environmental Defense Fund: Coalition Unveils Recommendations for Continued Recovery 10 Years After Gulf Oil Spill

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, March 12 -- The Environmental Defense Fund issued the following news release:

Strategies focus on funding, restoration project implementation and building community resilience

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As the 10th anniversary of the Gulf oil spill approaches on April 20, Restore the Mississippi River Delta released a report with nine recommended strategies for advancing critical ecosystem restoration in the delta, maximizing the investment opportunities of the oil spill settlement and engaging local communities for a more resilient future. The recommendations, titled "A Decade After Disaster," were compiled by conservation policy and science experts from the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. These organizations have worked collectively to advance science-based coastal restoration and build community resilience in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Gulf oil spill.

"As we reflect on one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, we do so with a clear recognition of the loss of life and damages to our coasts and communities," said Steve Cochran, campaign director for Restore the Mississippi River Delta. "Louisiana has made significant progress since the Gulf oil disaster, and we can honor these losses by continuing to act with urgency on ongoing recovery and in the face of land loss and climate change."

In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 men and dumped more than 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP and other responsible parties settled to pay $20.8 billion to the impacted Gulf states - the largest environmental damage settlement in U.S. history. Louisiana will receive more than $6 billion from the settlement, providing funding that has allowed the state to advance key Coastal Master Plan restoration projects that have been planned for decades.

"The Gulf oil spill settlement provided a down payment for restoration. But this jumpstart - as essential as it has been - will not be enough to restore and sustain the Mississippi River Delta over time," said Brian Moore, National Audubon Society's Vice President for Gulf Policy. "It is absolutely vital that Louisiana identify consistent, long-term funding to restore and protect its coast for all who depend on it."

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