Last week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler sent a letter to Mr. Noah Valenstein, Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Designated Alternate for the Governor of Florida to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, approving the State of Florida’s State Expenditure Plan (SEP).
“I applaud Florida and the Gulf Consortium on the development of this comprehensive and effective State Expenditure Plan that will provide $291 million for 69 projects spread across 23 coastal counties,” said EPA Acting Administrator and RESTORE Council Chair Andrew Wheeler. “Our collective efforts under the RESTORE Act will help protect and ensure the long-term health and resilience of the Gulf Coast ecosystem.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott announced the approval of Florida’s robust plan to invest more than $290 million in critical projects along Florida’s Gulf Coast. “The communities impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill have come so far since that tragic disaster and we will never stop fighting to protect our environment and make sure families and businesses along the Gulf Coast continue to grow.”
“We are very excited about the approval of the Florida State Expenditure Plan. This is a culmination of 5 years of work and cooperation with and between federal, state and local governments. This ambitious plan implements environmental restoration projects across 23 counties from the Perdido River in my county of Escambia to Key West in Monroe County,” said Gulf Consortium Chairman Grover Robinson.
The Florida SEP was submitted under the Spill Impact Component of the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act). With this approval, funding for activities in the SEP will be disbursed via federal grants between the Council and the Gulf Consortium. The approved SEP is posted on the RESTORE Council website.