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Task Force Created for|Long-Term Gulf Restoration

WASHINGTON (CN) - President Obama has created a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force to create an ecosystem recovery strategy, in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill transitioning from emergency response to long-term recovery.

The task force is to coordinate federal, state and private ecosystem reconstruction projects.

The task force is to produce a Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy within a year of the appointment of its members who will include representatives of each of the five Gulf states, members of the president's cabinet and representatives of native-American tribes affected by the spill.

While the task force will create the restoration strategy, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program of the Department of the Interior will be responsible for carrying out the recommendations of the task force.

The Restoration Program has been charged with assessing the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon spill. It also negotiates settlements with parties responsible for oil spills and releases of toxic chemicals, to pay for remediation.

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