The Administrator discussed the ongoing efforts to restore the Gulf’s valuable ecosystems and the important role faith communities have played in response to Hurricane Katrina and ongoing stewardship of the environment.
Jackson opened her remarks thanking the group for their commitment to the Gulf region: "Since Hurricane Katrina and throughout the BP spill, many of you and many members of your congregations, have traveled here and spent countless hours in the communities. You have strengthened this city in its time of need with both material and spiritual support. And you have played an invaluable role in the rebuilding that continues to this day....Thank you for all the good things you have done for the people here. And thank you for returning once again and bringing your spirit and your enthusiasm and your joy to this city."
Administrator Jackson commented on the occasion of the NCC 100th Anniversary and told the audience that the EPA is also coming up on the celebration of their 40th Anniversary:
"The question now is, 'What we can do?' As EPA and the NCC hit these milestones and celebrate the past, it is also essential that we consider the future. It is a future where we must strengthen our collaboration on critical environmental issues: cleaning up our air, land and water, fighting for environmental justice to relieve the burdens of pollution in poor and minority communities, protecting the planet we all call home and safeguarding the creation that has been given to us to steward. EPA will continue to expand our work with congregations through the Energy Star program. We will continue to seek the input of faith communities in the decisions we make. And we also plan to align our efforts with the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership through the White House. You have spoken to the President, and I invite you to share your thoughts with me and my team as well."
Mara Vanderslice serves as the Deputy Director of The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.