Below are updates to Natural Resource Damage Assessment, RESTORE Act, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund restoration activities in Florida.
Florida Trustees Initiate Restoration Planning
The Florida Trustee Implementation Group is drafting a restoration plan for the third phase of the Florida Coastal Access Project to address natural resource injuries from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Florida Coastal Access Project addresses a portion of the lost recreational use in Florida. Both the first phase, described the Phase V Early Restoration Plan, and the second phase, described in the Phase V.2 Restoration Plan, included acquisition and/or enhancement of recreational amenities at five coastal parcels in the Florida Panhandle. Funding for this phase of the Florida Coastal Access Project will come from funds not utilized in the previous phases. This restoration plan will be drafted consistent with the Phase V Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment.
We expect to release a draft restoration plan for this third phase of the Florida Coastal Access project later this year. You will have the opportunity to review and provide input on the proposed restoration plan, including the specific proposed project. After the public comment period ends, we will review, consider, and incorporate public comments before releasing a final restoration plan.
Public Webinar- Planning Framework Draft Public Comment
On April 26, 2019, the RESTORE Council staff will begin a 45-day public review and comment period on the Planning Framework draft, that will conclude at 11:59 pm MDT on June 12, 2019. On the first day of the public review and comment period, the Planning Framework draft will be available at www.restorethegulf.gov. The RESTORE Council will host and record two live public webinars on April 29, 2019. During each live webinar, Council staff will present an overview of the Planning Framework draft, and respond to selected questions from webinar participants.
The registration links for the live Planning Framework Draft- Public Comment webinars are below:
You may register for these webinars in advance. Once registered, a link to access the webinar will be sent to the email address provided during registration. A recording of the presentation and a list of all questions and responses from each webinar will be posted at www.restorethegulf.gov.
Florida Trustees Approve Final Restoration Plan 1
The Florida Trustee Implementation Group approved its Final Restoration Plan 1 (PDF, 390 pg.) which selects twenty-three projects at a total estimated cost of $61 million. The final plan is consistent with theTrustees’ Programmatic Restoration Plan and selects projects for restoring natural resources and services injured or lost in Florida as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
These projects will help restore and benefit wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats on federally managed lands; improve water quality and hydrology by reducing sources of pollution and restoring more natural flows to increase the overall health and productivity of these ecosystems; and enhance the public’s access to the surrounding natural resources and increase recreational opportunities.
The Phase V.2 Draft Plan was released for review and public comment in November 2017, and held a public meeting in Port St. Joe on November 16, 2017. The final plan reflects revisions to the draft plan resulting from public comments and continuing project development.
The Salinas Park Addition involves acquisition and enhancement of an approximately 6-acre coastal parcel located in Cape San Blas, in Gulf County, Florida, and has an estimated cost of $3.2 million. The new parcel will be accessible from the existing Salinas Park Bayside parking area, as well as via the adjacent bicycle and pedestrian trail.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.