Participating in Gulf Recovery
Making Your Voice Heard in Environmental Decision-Making
Public participation is how you can make your voice heard in environmental decisions that may affect you, your community, and your livelihood. There are many different ways for people to participate in environmental decision-making at local, regional, and national levels. These include providing written or verbal comments on proposed environmental decisions and attending local meetings and speaking to government officials.
There will be opportunities for the public to participate in various stages of Gulf recovery and restoration. View our pages on Natural Resource Damage Assessment and the Clean Water Act & RESTORE for more details.
What is a Public Comment?
When government entities decide to undertake major actions that may have far-reaching effects on individuals, communities, economies, and ecosystems, they typically must solicit public comments on the proposed action. The action may range from a physical construction project to a restoration planning process. Comment periods provide an opportunity for members of the public to provide input, share experiences, and propose specific changes.
Written comments are essentially a letter to the decision-maker that explains your opinions about the decision (e.g., if it should be changed).
Verbal comments are oral remarks provided at a public meeting that explain your opinions about the decision.
Participating as a Community
You may have a louder voice, and have an easier time, if your community works together to participate in a process. Often a decision that affects you will also affect others in your community.
For more details about how to submit public comments: