GULF OF MEXICO - MARCH 2012 - Mr. Ben Scaggs has been named the new Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program (GOMP). In his new role, Scaggs will be responsible for overseeing a collaborative program to protect, maintain, and restore the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico in ways consistent with the economic well-being of the Region. Scaggs comes to the GOMP following exemplary service as Director of the Office of Administration and Resource Management at EPA’s Research Triangle Park, North Carolina location, the largest agency presence outside of Washington, DC. He came to the EPA in 1991 from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and over his 20 years at the Agency has also worked in the Office of Air and Radiation and in the EPA’s Region 4 office in Atlanta, Georgia. Scaggs has a Bachelor’s degree and Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
His leadership skills and collaborative style will be a tremendous asset to the work in the Gulf of Mexico, a vast, productive, and important body of water. More than 60 percent of our nation’s waters drain into the Gulf, creating both large opportunities and challenges. In addition to its tremendous ecological, economic, and social value, the Gulf of Mexico is home to magnificent beaches, critical wetland habitats, some of the most productive fisheries in the world, and a quarter of U.S. domestic natural gas and one-eighth of its oil. Both the resilience and the vulnerability of this region have been on national display in the last ten years, first in the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and more recently in the dramatic oil spill following the explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon in 2010, the largest marine spill in the history of the petroleum industry. Numerous efforts to restore the area and strengthen its resiliency will continue into the future, and GOMP will be an active partner in these efforts.