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Latest Updates

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 Trustee Group Approves 18 Projects in $62 Million Restoration Plan

The Florida Trustee Implementation Group has approved its Final Restoration Plan 2 and Environmental Assessment (PDF, 489 pages). The plan includes 18 selected projects that address five natural resource restoration types:

  • Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands
  • Sea Turtles
  • Marine Mammals
  • Birds
  • Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities

One project addresses both the Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands and the Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities restoration types.

We released the Draft Restoration Plan 2 and Environmental Assessment on February 19, 2021 and accepted public comments through March 29, 2021. We received and considered more than 20,000 correspondences. 

Plan Highlights

Of the 19 projects originally proposed as preferred alternatives, we selected 18 projects for implementation in the final plan. The Engineering and Design for Pensacola Beach Park West Fishing Pier and Access Improvements project was not selected for implementation, and was changed from a preferred to a non preferred alternative after reviewing the public comments and further discussion with Escambia County. Two projects were modified between the draft and final plan. The Pensacola Beach Fort Pickens Road Wildlife Lighting Retrofits project was updated to include the installation of new lighting poles rather than the alteration of existing poles. The Gulf Breeze Parks Boating and Fishing Access Upgrades project was updated to remove enhancements to the fishing pier at Shoreline Park South. Clarifying details were added to the Johnson Beach Access Management and Habitat Protection project description, OPA analysis, and NEPA analysis.

The following projects were selected in the final plan. More information about each can be found in the final plan.

Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands

  • Johnson Beach Access Management and Habitat Protection
  • Perdido Key Sediment Placement
  • Pensacola Beach Fort Pickens Road Wildlife Lighting Retrofits
  • St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Access and Recreational Improvements through Acquisition at Indian Pass (also partially funded with Provide and Enhance Recreational Use Opportunities restoration type funds)

Sea Turtles

  • Increased Observers and Outreach to Reduce Incidental Hooking of Sea Turtles in Recreational Fisheries along Florida’s Gulf Coast
  • Reducing Threats to Sea Turtles through Removal of In-water Marine Debris along Florida’s Gulf Coast
  • Assessing Risk and Conducting Public Outreach to Reduce Vessel Strikes on Sea Turtles along Florida’s Gulf Coast

Marine Mammals

  • Florida Gulf Coast Marine Mammals Stranding Network

Birds

  • Gomez Key Oyster Reef Expansion and Breakwaters for American Oystercatchers
  • Egmont Key Vegetation Management and Dune Retention
  • Northeast Florida Coastal Predation Management
  • Florida Shorebird and Seabird Stewardship and Habitat Management – 5 Years

Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities

  • Pensacola Community Maritime Park Public Fishing Marina
  • Baars Park and Sanders Beach Kayak Fishing Trail Access Upgrades
  • Gulf Breeze Parks Boating and Fishing Access Upgrades
  • Lincoln Park Boat Ramp and Dock Improvements
  • Florida Artificial Reef Creation and Restoration – Phase 2
  • Apollo Beach Recreational Sportfish Hatchery Facility

The final Restoration Plan 2 and Environmental Assessment plan is consistent with the Trustees’ Programmatic Restoration Plan and proposes projects for restoring natural resources and services injured or lost in Florida as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

More Information

 

 

Join the Trustees for their Annual Public Meeting Webinar June 17

Read this article in Vietnamese.

The Trustee Council will hold its sixth annual public meeting and open house via webinar this year due to current nationwide health concerns. The meeting date is June 17, 2021. The webinar is open to everyone and we encourage your attendance and participation.

During this meeting, we will present updates on the progress made by the Trustee Council and in each of the seven Restoration Areas. This meeting will also serve as the annual public meeting for the Regionwide Trustee Implementation Group. We’ll also provide an opportunity for public comments after the updates are presented. We will hold an open house Q&A session preceding the public meeting.

  • Date: June 17, 2021       
  • Time: Open House 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. CT

          Public Meeting 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. CT

The registration page includes questions that ask whether you would like to sign up to give a verbal comment during the public meeting. If you sign up, you will receive a follow up email with additional instructions. If you are not sure if you would like to make a public comment, you will have the opportunity to do so during the webinar.

The registration page also includes an opportunity to submit a question about restoration area planning and projects, data management, or monitoring during the open house. We will also take written questions during the open house.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join. We recommend doing a GoToWebinar system check, and reviewing the attendee guide before joining the webinar. You will have options to join the webinar via a web browser, or you can download the GoToWebinar app if you haven’t already.

Please contact us at webinars@dwhtig.org by June 2, 2021, if you need special assistance with language, hearing, or visual capabilities.

If you are unable to attend the public meeting, we will update the Gulf Spill Restoration website with the presentation and transcript, and we will send a follow-up email with this information when it is available. Last year’s annual public meeting information was made available shortly after the July 2020 meeting. 


RESTORE Council Approves Florida Funding

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) has approved over $83 million in funding decisions for restoration efforts benefiting Florida. 

The funding has been approved as part of the Council-Selected Restoration Component Funded Priorities List (FPL) 3b, developed through collaboration among the RESTORE Council’s state and federal members with input from Gulf of Mexico stakeholders. FPL 3b includes 20 activities that will address a range of ecosystem needs. 

The $302 million FPL 3b includes $69 million for large-scale Florida programs to address water quality and quantity, habitat acquisition and conservation, and coastal resilience. Other approved activities include $5 million for longleaf pine and hydrology restoration within the Apalachicola watershed, as well as $9 million for Gulf-wide programs that provide multi-state benefits. 

“In the wake of an environmental disaster as severe as the BP oil spill, remediation and recovery funding is critical to continuing research and restoration,” said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. “The Gulf is an incredibly interconnected system, and our restoration efforts have been successful because of the many different groups involved. The continued collaboration between state and federal partners will restore economies, ecosystems and way of life in the Gulf."

FPL 3b includes $140,456,250 for ecosystem restoration activities that RESTORE Council members will implement in the near term, and an additional $161,543,750 budgeted for priority activities that the RESTORE Council will evaluate in the future. 

The RESTORE Council was established in 2012 by the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act), a federal law enacted in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The RESTORE Council consists of the governors of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, along with the secretaries of the U.S. departments of agriculture, the Army, commerce, homeland security, the Interior and the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  

Additional information on the projects and programs included in FPL 3b, as well as prior FPL activities can be found at RestoreTheGulf.gov.


 

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Last Modified:
June 30, 2021 - 10:49am

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