USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment Harris Sherman will be in McAlpin, Fla., on Monday to discuss the recent announcement of a strategic plan to improve the overall health of the gulf ecosystem.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Gulf of Mexico Initiative and the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force’s strategic plan to improve water quality and the health of the Gulf ecosystem will be discussed, as will more details on the new initiative and what it means to the watersheds in Suwannee, Escambia and Lafayette counties.

In October, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force released its comprehensive preliminary strategy for long-term restoration. Among the major initiatives put forth in the strategy are stopping the loss of wetlands, reducing the flow of nutrients into the gulf and enhancing resilience among coastal communities.

The strategy, which will be presented to President Obama at the end of a period of public review and feedback, aims to address long-standing issues contributing to the decline of the gulf ecosystem.

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