ATLANTA — The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released a draft Initial Funded Priorities List highlighting areas in need of funds to address critical needs, according to a press release.

Sitting on the council are “governors from the five affected Gulf States, the secretaries from the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Commerce, Agriculture and Homeland Security as well as the secretary of the army and the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” stated the release. The council will provide near-term ecosystem benefits and planning activities for the future with funds from the Transocean Deepwater Inc. settlement.

The list focuses on 10 key watersheds across the Gulf, reported the release. The council also plans to implement Gulf-wide investments to restore the ecosystem.

The $139.6 million in funding would support hydrologic restoration, land conservation and planning for large-scale restoration projects, noted the release. The council also plans to reserve about $43.6 million for future activities.

“The Council is committed to working with Gulf communities and partners to invest in actions and projects that will ensure the long-term environmental health and economic prosperity of the Gulf Coast region,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, chairperson of the Gulf Restoration Council, in the release. “We look forward to hearing from the community on prioritizing the proposed $183 million investment to restore the natural ecosystem, reinvigorate economies, create jobs and rebuild the environment for generations to come.”

Public comments will be accepted until Sept. 28, shared the release. Several public meetings regarding the draft will also be held.