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Obama orders Gulf restoration task force

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The task force has a year to develop a strategy to restore the Gulf Coast ecosystem
  • Federal, state and local officials will be on the task force
  • EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will head the task force

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday named a task force to plan the restoration of the Gulf Coast region after this year's oil disaster.

In an executive order. Obama said the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force would include federal, state and local representatives to help "effectively address the damage" from the oil spill.

"Ecosystem restoration will support economic vitality, enhance human health and safety, protect infrastructure, enable communities to better withstand impact from storms and climate change, sustain safe seafood and clean water, provide recreational and cultural opportunities, protect and preserve sites that are of historical and cultural significance, and contribute to the overall resilience of our coastal communities and nation," the order said.

"Efforts must be science-based and well-coordinated to minimize duplication and ensure effective delivery of services," it said.

The task force will include senior officials from 11 federal departments and agencies, including Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce and Transportation, along with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Management and Budget, according to the order.

In addition, the task force will have representatives from each of the five Gulf states -- Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida -- as well as affected tribal groups.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will head the task force, according to the EPA website.

The executive order said the task force would be an advisory body that would coordinate intergovernmental efforts and take a year to develop a strategy for Gulf ecosystem restoration.