JACKSON – Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday he’s creating a 34-member group to examine the impact of the BP oil spill and help devise a recovery and development plan for the state’s coastal region.
Barbour said the Mississippi Gulf of Mexico Commission will be co-chaired by two state agency directors – Bill Walker at the Department of Marine Resources and Trudy Fisher at the Department of Environmental Quality.
Other members are scientists, businesspeople and elected officials, including former Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat.
The group will develop a plan to submit to Navy Secretary and former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus, who was appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the long-term Gulf restoration.
“The Gulf of Mexico is the driving force of the Gulf Coast economy, so effective long-term planning and action to improve this asset will result in long-term economic growth for the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” Barbour said in a news release.
The commission’s first meeting is 2:30 p.m. today in Gulfport.
The Associated Press