The official website of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

Funded Priorities List 3b

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) sought 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 FPLs through collaboration among its members and with feedback from stakeholders across the Gulf. As a result of this collaborative process, the Council developed FPL 3 using a phased approach to 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. The draft FPL 3b (Vietnamese translation) was available for public review and comment from November 16, 2020 to January 5, 2021.

In finalizing 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 initially considered 24 proposals to 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.

During the final stage of Council development of draft FPL 3b, the combined cost of the 24 proposals under consideration exceeded the amount of Bucket 2 funds projected to be available in the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (Trust Fund) when the Council votes on FPL 3b. The Council had to eliminate and downsize proposals to meet the available funding level. The final selection of the 20 activities included in draft FPL 3b was supported by the Council’s collaborative process, and received concurrence from all members. This process was based on consideration of the ecosystem needs and priorities in each respective state, BAS and other proposal reviews, and by the voting structure of the RESTORE Act.

FPL 3b Activities

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 approved $140,456,250 for Category 1 activities across the Gulf coast. In addition, the Council has budgeted $161,543,750 for Category 2 activities; pending future Council votes to approve the funds. Collectively, these activities will continue to advance the Council’s vision of “A healthy and productive Gulf ecosystem achieved through collaboration on strategic restoration projects and programs.”

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

  • Activity Description- provides additional detail on the activity that was 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 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 Final 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.

Public Review and Comment on Draft FPL 3b- November 16, 2020 - January 5, 2021

The public was encouraged to to review and comment on the Draft FPL 3b from November 16, 2020 - until 11:59 pm MST January 5, 2021. On November 16th, the RESTORE Council hosted two two live public webinars and  in order to give the public additional opportunities to learn about the proposed projects and programs in specific geographic areas, the RESTORE Council co-hosted virtual public meetings with each of the Gulf Coast states during the public comment period. Recordings from each of these virtual public meetings and the November 16th overview webinar are available on our RESTORE Education Opportunities Series page.

The Council released Funded Priorities List 3b: Responses to Comments (Vietnamese translation) which includes a summary of the 142 unique public comments received from 1,946 stakeholders and responses to those comments. The Council has incorporated public input into the draft version of the final Funded Priorities List 3b (Vietnamese translation), the Council voted to approve the final FPL 3b on April 28, 2021.

Notice of Funding Availability

In accordance with the RESTORE Act, the Council announced the Notice of Funding Availability: Council-Selected Restoration Component 2020 FPL 3b, including application submission requirements and review procedures. Eligible applicants are limited to members of the Council or their administrative agents. Council members are the governors of the Gulf Coast States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas; and the Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, the Army, Commerce, Homeland Security and the Interior; and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. No other entities are eligible to apply under this announcement.