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Gulf Restoration Council Announces Proposal Submission and Evaluation Process

Gulf Restoration Council Approves Proposal Submission and Evaluation Process

Proposal Submission Window Will Open Next Month

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) has made significant progress in finalizing the processes for implementing restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico. Approval of this process means Council members may begin submitting projects as early as next month with project evaluation and selection activities taking place later this fall. The Council will invest in specific actions, projects and programs that can be carried out in the near-term to help ensure on-the-ground results to restore the overall health of the ecosystem.

The process provides for merit-based selection of projects to achieve comprehensive ecosystem restoration. It incorporates an independent science review to ensure projects are grounded in sound science, provides for coordination at the project level with other restoration efforts, and gives the highest priority to projects that meet one or more of the priority criteria outlined in the law.

“Two years after the passage of the RESTORE Act, and four years after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the Council is well-positioned to begin the process of selecting restoration projects. These foundational steps serve to expedite our ability to fund ecosystem restoration projects as funds become available,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.

The projects and programs selected by the Council will be included on a draft Funded Priorities List (FPL) and published for public comment. They will be funded with available funds from Transocean Deepwater Inc. and related entities. The Council plans to publish a draft FPL for the public to review and comment on in 2015.

The Council continues to seek broad participation from diverse stakeholders in the Gulf Coast region and anticipates convening community conversations across the Gulf to provide information about the proposal submission and evaluation process as well as to collect public input that will inform the development of the draft FPL. Dates and locations will be made available on the Council’s web site.

Ehrenwerth said, “This process is the most efficient and responsible way to honor the requirements of the RESTORE Act. It will also assure the public that the selected projects are grounded in the best available science, have a positive impact on the natural resources of the Gulf, and provide transparency as the Council applies consistent and objective criteria during the selection process.”

The Council created a number of materials to provide information to the public about the Council and its work, a summary of progress to date, and information regarding the proposal submission and evaluation process. Additional materials will be posted here as they become available.

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Fact Sheet

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Comprehensive Plan Fact Sheet

Summary of Public Input (2010-2013)

Additional translated materials will be available on this site shortly.

For information about these materials, please contact
Bethany Carl Kraft at bkraft@doc.gov

Contact: Bethany Carl Kraft, Gulf Coast Ecosystem
Restoration Council, 202.431.8180