The Gulf Coast restoration activities continue

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) has announced $302 million in funding decisions for restoration activities spanning the Gulf Coast states impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

With this 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 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, beach nourishment and other ecosystem restoration needs.

“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. “This $302 million investment is the culmination of robust collaborative efforts and sound science.”

This 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.

The 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.

Photo: Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council