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Funded Priorities List 3b

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) is seeking public comment on proposed funding decisions as described below. The Council approves Council-Selected Restoration Component (commonly referred to as “Bucket 2”) projects and programs for funding in what is called a Funded Priorities List (FPL). The Council develops Funded Priorities Lists (FPLs) through collaboration among its members and with feedback from stakeholders across the Gulf. As a result of this collaborative process, the Council determined that developing FPL 3 using a phased approach would enable the Council to respond to ecosystem needs and take advantage of important partnership opportunities to advance large-scale ecosystem restoration in the near term.  

The Council voted to approve FPL 3a in February 2020, which included one ecosystem project in Louisiana and another in Alabama. In March 2020, the Council solicited proposals for potential funding under Bucket 2 in the second phase of the Council’s Funded Priority List 3, referred to as FPL 3b. This draft FPL 3b (Vietnamese translation) is now available for public review and comment.

In developing draft FPL 3b, the Council adhered to the FPL development processes committed to by the Council, as described in its FPL 3 Proposal Submission Guidelines and Review Process. The Council considered 24 proposals that address ecosystem needs in Texas, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama, along with Gulfwide (covering two or more states). Additionally, the Council considered priority restoration activities of federally recognized tribes (tribes) that have lands of interest in the Gulf. Tribes were able to develop and propose their own restoration projects in coordination with a federal Council member. Though only Council members may submit project proposals and receive Bucket 2 funds, federal Council members may also submit proposals on behalf of these tribes.

Per the Council’s process, all proposals were reviewed for:

  • Consistency with the RESTORE Act priority criteria and the Council’s Comprehensive Plan goals and objectives,
  • Whether all necessary environmental compliance documentation had been obtained,
  • Consistency with the Council’s 2019 Planning Framework, and
  • Use of the best available science, as required by the RESTORE Act.

The combined cost of these 24 proposals exceeded the funding available for FPL 3b. Taking into consideration all proposals reviews as well as the investments made in FPL 3a, the Council continued its collaborative process to modify and - in some cases - eliminate proposals to develop FPL 3b.

Draft FPL 3b Proposed Activities

Draft FPL 3b describes 20 projects and programs (collectively referred to as activities) to address ecosystem needs across the Gulf. FPLs include references to activities in two categories, referred to as Category 1 and Category 2. The Council proposes to approve approximately $105,135,750 for Category 1 activities across the Gulf coast. In addition, the Council is proposing to reserve approximately $196,864,250 for Category 2 activities; pending future Council votes to approve the funds. Collectively, these proposed activities would continue to advance the Council’s vision of “A healthy and productive Gulf ecosystem achieved through collaboration on strategic restoration projects and programs.”

The proposed FPL 3b activities are listed in the table below, along with links to the following associated documents:

  • Draft Activity Description- provides additional detail on the proposed activity than provided in the draft FPL 3b, including information regarding compliance with the RESTORE Act, background, methods, risk and uncertainties, and budget.
  • Fact Sheet- a summary of the proposed activity.
  • Proposal Package includes:
    • The revised proposal submitted by July 17th, 2020 and any letters of support provided by the sponsor
    • The original proposal submitted by the April 24, 2020 deadline
    • The Council staff comments on the original proposal and sponsor’s response to comments
    • A summary of the external BAS comments on the original proposal and the sponsor’s responses to comments A summary of the Internal BAS Panel discussion of the proposal, and its sponsor’s response to comments, and
    • The three external science reviews of the original proposal.

 

Council Sponsor Draft Activity Description Fact Sheet Proposal
Package
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Coastal Alabama Regional Water Quality Program

(Vietnamese Translation)
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Enhancing Hydrologic Connectivity in Justin’s Bay (Mobile Bay) (Vietnamese Translation)
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Perdido Watershed Water Quality Improvements and Restoration Assessment Program (Vietnamese Translation)
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Florida Gulf Coast Resiliency Program (Vietnamese Translation)
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Florida Gulf Coast Tributaries Hydrologic Restoration Program (Vietnamese Translation)
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Florida Strategic Gulf Coast Land Acquisition Program (Vietnamese Translation)
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Florida Water Quality Improvement Program (Vietnamese Translation)
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Coastal Nearshore Habitat Restoration and Development Program in Mississippi (Vietnamese Translation)
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Water Quality Improvement Program for Coastal Mississippi Waters (Vietnamese Translation)
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chenier Plain Ecosystem Restoration Program (Vietnamese Translation)
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Shoreline Protection Through Living Shorelines (Vietnamese Translation)
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Texas Coastal Water Quality Program (Vietnamese Translation)
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Texas Land Acquisition Program for Coastal Conservation (Vietnamese Translation)
U.S. Department of Agriculture Enhancing Gulf Waters through Forested Watershed Restoration (Vietnamese Translation)
U.S. Department of Agriculture Gulf Coast Conservation Reserve Program (Vietnamese Translation)
U.S. Department of Agriculture The Apalachicola Regional Restoration Initiative: Strategies 2 & 3 (Vietnamese Translation)
U.S. Department of Commerce/NOAA Gulf of Mexico Coast Conservation Corps (GulfCorps) Program (Vietnamese Translation)
U.S. Department of the Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Youth Coastal Restoration Program (Vietnamese Translation)
U.S. Department of the Interior/U.S. Geological Survey Develop Ecological Flow Decision-Support for Mobile River and Perdido River Basins (DOI/USGS) (Vietnamese Translation)
U.S. Department of the Interior Wind-Tidal Flat Restoration Pilot (Vietnamese Translation)

 

Learn more about the proposals submitted for consideration in FPL 3b. The Council notified Gulf stakeholders subscribed to RESTORE eBlasts of the availability of the FPL 3b proposal packages received by the deadline.

Next Steps for FPL 3b

The draft FPL 3b is available for a 50-day public review and comment period beginning November 16, 2020. The deadline for submitting public comments on the proposed FPL 3b is 11:59 MT January 5, 2021. The Council will review comments on the draft FPL 3b that are received by the close of the public comment and review period, and release a response to those public comments. The Council anticipates voting on the draft FPL 3b in spring of 2021.