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Council Staff - John F. Ettinger

John Ettinger photo



 John F. Ettinger

Director of Policy and Environmental Compliance

John F. Ettinger serves as Director of Policy and Environmental Compliance for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council). Created by the RESTORE Act of 2012 and comprised of the Governors of the five Gulf Coast States and Secretaries from six federal agencies, the RESTORE Council is responsible for restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast.

Prior to joining the Council, Ettinger served as the Coastal Wetlands Coordinator for U.S. EPA Region 6. He represented EPA in the development and implementation of large-scale coastal restoration and protection plans, including Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Strategy, and the Corps of Engineers Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Plan.

Ettinger also worked with the Corps of Engineers and other stakeholders to ensure that hurricane protection levees are environmentally sound and to promote non-structural approaches to reduce flood risk. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he helped expedite the environmental review of the $14.5 billion upgrade of the Greater New Orleans levee system. Ettinger also worked on a range of other complex regulatory matters including oil spill response, cypress logging, highways, and mitigation banks.

Prior to moving to Louisiana in 2001, Ettinger served for nearly ten years in EPA Headquarters, working on national wetland regulatory policy. Much of his work focused on analyzing and helping resolve controversial wetland regulatory cases involving mining, highways, large-scale development, and other activities. He also worked with the Federal Highway Administration to help expedite the regulatory process for transportation projects.

Before joining EPA, Ettinger spent over two years as a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps. He was stationed in a rural village in Paraguay, South America, where he worked to improve drinking water and sanitation, while also helping lead a community-based effort to build a new school.

Ettinger lives and works in New Orleans. He has a BA in Philosophy from Marquette University and a MS in Environmental Sciences from Johns Hopkins University.