WASHINGTON, D.C. (U.S. EPA) – The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force yesterday released its final strategy for long-term ecosystem restoration for the Gulf Coast, following extensive feedback from citizens throughout the region.

According to a press release from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this “marks the beginning of the implementation phase of the strategy by announcing new initiatives, including $50 million in assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to help agricultural producers in seven Gulf Coast river basins improve water quality, increase water conservation and enhance wildlife habitat.

“USDA’s multi-year environmental restoration effort, known as the Gulf of Mexico Initiative, or GoMI, represents a 1,100 percent increase in financial assistance for Gulf priority watersheds.”

The EPA said this the first restoration blueprint developed for the Gulf to include input from states, tribes, federal agencies, local governments and thousands of citizens and organizations across the region.