The passage of the “Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012” (RESTORE Act) provides opportunities for meaningful efforts to revitalize Gulf of Mexico waters and resources from the harmful effects of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill. The Act establishes a trust fund for which 80 percent of the Clean Water Act civil penalties assessed will be distributed to the states and their respective political jurisdictions with a coastline contiguous to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund will have five "pots" of money to restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast region.
Monroe County is the recipient of the RESTORE Act funding of $1,167,643 from the settlement of Transocean.
Pot 1: “Local Pot”
All Florida Gulf coastal counties will receive a portion of the Equal-Share State Allocation or the Direct Component (35 percent of the RESTORE fund, 7 percent to each state). These funds can be used for the restoration and protection of natural resources, mitigation of damage to fish and wildlife, and workforce development and job creation.
The following projects were reviewed and approved by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners at the Feb. 18, 2015 meeting.
- Coral Restoration $550,000
- Canal Restoration Monroe County $450,000
- Canal Restoration Islamorada $100,000
- Committee Scores and Ranking of Applications
Multi-year Implementation Plan
The County’s MYIP was formally approved by the Board of County Commissioners in September 2015 and submitted to the Treasury in October 2016.
Pot 2: “Federal Pot”
30 percent controlled by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. Projects nominated by a governor of one of the five Gulf states or one of the six federal entities on the council. These funds will focus on environmental projects with guidance from the Council’s Comprehensive Plan.
The Draft FPL says Louisiana will receive the most funding (37.4 percent), followed by Mississippi (17 percent), Florida (11.7 percent), Texas (9.6 percent), and Alabama (9.1 percent). Gulf initiatives will receive about 15.2 percent of the funds.
For Monroe County, the Council’s Draft FPL does not recognize for funding or projects any watershed areas in Florida south of the Tampa Bay area. Monroe County took the opportunity to submit comments during the open comment period to point out the ecological value of Monroe County’s Gulf region, in the hopes that we are recognized in future iterations of the FPL.
Monroe County submitted two water quality improvement proposals for the Federal Council funding consideration.
Pot 3: “State Pot”
The Gulf Consortium will plan how to spend Florida’s share of Pot 3 funds, the Oil Spill Impact-Based Allocation (30 percent).
The Gulf Consortium is a public entity created in October 2012 by an interlocal agreement among Florida's 23 Gulf Coast counties, from Escambia County in the western panhandle of Florida to Monroe County. Florida’s 23 Gulf Coast Counties formed the Consortium to meet requirements of the RESTORE Act to develop a State Expenditure Plan for economic and environmental recovery of the Gulf Coast in Florida following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Pots 4 and 5
NOAA Gulf Restoration Science Program and State Centers of Excellence. 2.5 percent each for research and monitoring.
Final Treasury Rules - Aug. 21, 2014
The Treasury is responsible for establishing procedures, in consultation with the Interior and Commerce Departments, concerning the deposit and expenditure of amounts from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund.
The Treasury Rule finalizes the percentage allocations for all funding “pots” and has determined the distribution of the currently available funds for all eligible entities.