Restoring Longleaf, Restoring the Gulf

Restoring Longleaf, Restoring the Gulf

The Longleaf Partnership Council (LPC) is eagerly pursuing a remarkable opportunity to accelerate longleaf ecosystem restoration while also contributing to the restoration of the Gulf Coast and the revitalization of its economy.  In the wake of the devastating BP Horizon oil spill, Congress and the federal courts have established several mechanisms to ensure considerable financial support for restoration efforts. While expenditures to date have been limited, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) is now gearing up to award significant grants for restoration activities.

Coordinating closely with the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Southern Group of State Foresters and the American Forest Foundation, the LPC aims to focus the Council and other Gulf decision-makers on the value that healthy and productive forests bring to water quality, habitat for at risk species, national defense and the economy. In May of this year LPC Chair Vernon Compton initiated outreach to the Council, encouraging that recovery of the longleaf ecosystem be incorporated into the Council's plans for restoring the Gulf Coast and offering the LPC’s assistance.  Read Compton’s letter here.

More recently, America's Longleaf Restoration Initiative (ALRI) developed a white paper entitled A Collaborative Framework for Restoring Longleaf, Restoring the Gulf (August 12,2013).  In this document, ALRI details how longleaf restoration would benefit the Gulf, emphasizes longleaf’s greater resistance to hurricanes and pests, anticipates specific longleaf-related restoration activities and provides examples of areas where special opportunities for accelerated longleaf restoration exist.  Review the Collaborative Framework here.

“Thanks to our local implementation teams, ALRI already has the "boots on the ground” across the five Gulf states as well as established mechanisms for coordinating regionally, so we and our partners are ready to do our part in restoring the Gulf just as soon as support can be made available,” said Compton. 

To read the Public Review Draft Comprehensive Plan Update 2016 for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, click here.