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 Restoration Area Draft Phase V.3 Plan Released
Florida Trustee Implementation Group Proposes Third Phase of the Florida Coastal Access Project
The Florida Trustee Implementation Group released a draft restoration plan proposing the third phase of the Florida Coastal Access Project for public review and comment. The Draft Phase V.3 Restoration Plan and Supplemental Environmental Assessment (Draft Phase V.3 Plan) proposes one additional recreational use project: the acquisition of a coastal parcel of land, the Navarre Beach Marine Park Addition. The parcel is an inholding within the existing Navarre Beach Marine Park property and acquisition would enhance the public’s access to the surrounding natural resources and increase recreational opportunities. The public comment period is open until July 22, 2019, and we’re holding a public meeting on the draft plan on July 18.
This draft restoration plan is consistent with the Trustees’ programmatic restoration plan and supplements the first and second phases of the Florida Coastal Access Project. The first phase of the project, described in the Phase V Early Restoration Plan, included acquisition and/or enhancement of four coastal parcels, and the second phase, described in the Phase V.2 Restoration Plan, included acquisition and enhancement of recreational amenities at one coastal parcel in the Florida Panhandle. The Florida Coastal Access Project addresses a portion of the lost recreational use in Florida caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Public Comment Period and Meeting
The Florida Trustee Implementation Group is seeking public comment on this draft restoration plan until July 22, 2019 and will hold a public meeting to present the plan and receive comments on July 18. The meeting will include an open house during which Trustee representatives can answer questions about the proposal. This will be followed by a formal public meeting, during which members of the public are invited to provide oral and/or written comments on the proposed acquisition. Meeting information follows:
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 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.