On Wednesday, 9 December 2015, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) approved the Initial Funded Priorities List (FPL) and the Spill Impact Component Rule during a Council meeting at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.
This FPL funds approximately $156.6 million in restoration activities such as hydrologic restoration, land conservation, and planning for large-scale restoration projects; and prioritizes 12 restoration activities for possible funding in the future, subject to environmental compliance and further Council review. The Council is reserving approximately $26.6 million for implementing priority activities in the future. Should the Council propose such prioritized activities for funding in the future, it will do so through a public process.
According to the Council, the planning activities in this FPL, if implemented in the future, could yield tens of thousands of additional acres of wetland restoration and many miles of living shorelines. Activities in this FPL will be conducted in cooperation with other ecosystem restoration and science initiatives occurring in the Gulf, including the ongoing Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF).
The Spill Impact Component Rule establishes the formula allocating funds made available from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund among the Gulf Coast States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas (“State” or “States”) under the RESTORE Act.