The official website of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

RESTORE Council Announces $302M in Gulf Coast Restoration Activities

NEW ORLEANS (April 28, 2021) - Today the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) announced $302 million in funding decisions for restoration activities spanning the Gulf Coast states impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. With today’s vote, the RESTORE Council has approved Funded Priorities List (FPL) 3b. FPL 3b includes 20 activities designed to address ecosystem needs across the Gulf of Mexico. The activities identified in FPLs are developed through collaboration among RESTORE Council members with input from Gulf stakeholders.

 

The activities in FPL 3b will provide a variety of benefits to the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. FPL 3b includes funding for large-scale programs to address water quality and quantity, habitat acquisition and conservation, coastal resilience, and other ecosystem restoration needs. Building on previous FPL investments, the RESTORE Council will continue funding to enhance the environmental vitality of the Gulf’s natural resources while also providing environmental job training for youth, including those from six Federally recognized Tribes. As a benefit to agricultural lands throughout the Gulf, FPL 3bwill continue funding private land conservation and ecological restoration. Finally, FPL 3b will support scientific efforts to continue to build the knowledge needed to advance Gulf restoration.

 

“As Chair of the RESTORE Council, EPA continues to work closely with all the members of the RESTORE Council to prioritize restoration of the Gulf of Mexico,”said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Approval of the Funded Priorities List (FPL) 3b will catapult existing restoration efforts and will yield large-scale programs critical to sustained ecosystem protection. This $302 million investment is the culmination of robust collaborative efforts and sound science.”

Today’s vote marks the completion of the RESTORE Council’s third Funded Priorities List, developed in two phases. The first phase, approved in February 2020 and referred to as FPL 3a, included two large-scale projects: The River Reintroduction into the Maurepas Swamp in Louisiana, and Perdido River Land Conservation and Habitat Enhancements in Alabama. Today’s second phase, FPL 3b, will address a range of ecosystem needs in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas. Additional Gulfwide programs will benefit all five states impacted by the DeepWater Horizon oil spill. Included in the $302 million is the approval of more than $140.4 million for ecosystem restoration activities that will be implemented in the near term. Additionally, the RESTORE Council budgeted over $161.5 million for priority activities that will be evaluated in the future.  

Additional information on the projects and programs included in FPL 3b as well as prior FPL activities can be found on theRESTORE Council’s website

 

Background

 

The RESTORE Council was established in 2012 by theResources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act), a federal law enacted in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The RESTORE Council consists of the governors of five Gulf Coast states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) and the cabinet heads of six federal agencies (the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of the Army, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Department of the Interior, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

 

The RESTORE Council oversees administration of two of the five components established by the RESTORE Act, representing 60% of the funds made available from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund established in the wake of the oil spill. Under the 2016 Deepwater Horizonconsent decree among the United States, the five Gulf States, and British Petroleum (BP), BP makes payments into the Trust Fund over a 15-year period ending in 2031.

 

As funds become available, the RESTORE Council works collaboratively with input from stakeholders across the Gulf to develop Funded Priorities Lists (FPLs), which designate ecosystem projects and programs for funding. FPL funding decisions are guided by criteria set forth in the RESTORE Act, the Council’s2016 Comprehensive Plan Update: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy, the Council’s2019 Planning Frameworkand other policies. In addition, the RESTORE Council oversees funding for State-led restoration and recovery efforts provided in State Expenditure Plans (SEPs) developed under the RESTORE Act. 

After FPLs and SEPs are approved, funding is administered through federal awards to the sponsors identified to implement the approved activities. As of April 26, 2021, the RESTORE Council has awarded $476.36 million for 124 activities across both programs.   

 

Learn more about: 

Funded Priorities List 3b

2019 Planning Framework

Modifying your eBlast Subscription

 

For more information on projects in a specific geographic location, please contact:

Alabama: Amy Hunter- Amy.Hunter@dcnr.alabama.gov

Florida: Rachel Schmalfuss- deepwaterhorizon@dep.state.fl.us

Louisiana: Chris Barnes- chris.barnes@la.gov

Mississippi: Robbie Wilbur- rwilbur@mdeq.ms.gov

Texas: Diane Mazuca- diane.mazuca@tceq.texas.gov

 

Keala J. Hughes

Director of External Affairs & Tribal Relations

(504) 717-7235

 

keala.hughes@restorethegulf.gov