WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks, Dan Kimball, has been dispatched to the new Command Center opening in St. Petersburg, Florida to help lead efforts to protect coastal communities and natural resources from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Superintendent Kimball, a 24-year veteran of the National Park Service, is joining other members of Interior's senior leadership team dispatched over the last two weeks to command centers along the Gulf coast. Kimball is among the more than 410 -- DOI personnel who have been deployed as part of the oil spill response. Additional DOI personnel already stationed in the region are among the more than 10,000 personnel currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
Since 2004, Superintendent Kimball has led the parks' involvement in the restoration of the Everglades, the largest ecosystem restoration project in the history of the United States. “We are confident that Dan's experience and expertise in preserving, restoring, and managing natural resources in the region will provide the necessary on the ground leadership for our ongoing response to protect our national parks and wildlife refuges along Southern Florida.”
Yesterday, Salazar dispatched Robert Abbey, director of the Bureau of Land Management and Mississippi native, to the Joint Information Center in Robert, Louisiana to support ongoing response efforts to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
On Sunday, Salazar dispatched Director of the National Park Service Jon Jarvis to Mobile, Alabama Incident Command Center and Acting Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service Rowan Gould to the Houma, Louisiana Incident Command Center to help lead efforts to protect coastal communities and natural resources from BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
On Friday, Salazar dispatched Dr. Marcia McNutt, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey, to the BP Command Center in Houston to help coordinate the joint efforts of federal scientists who are working with BP engineers to address several technological challenges and approaches to securing the damaged well head, stopping the leak and minimizing impacts from the spill.
Secretary Salazar has also dispatched DOI Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Lori Faeth to support joint response efforts in the Unified Command Center in Robert, Louisiana and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Jane Lyder to the Houma Incident Command Center.
The Minerals Management Service (MMS) continues to work with BP to explore all options that could stop or mitigate oil leaks from the damaged well. Pursuant to MMS's regulatory authority, all plans are being reviewed and approved by MMS before implementation. MMS has completed its inspections of all 30 deepwater drilling rigs and is now inspecting all deepwater production platforms.
For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.