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.
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Parker City Pier
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in coordination with Parker City is announcing a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Parker City Pier on Feb.10, 2024, at 11 a.m. CST.
WHAT: Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Parker City Pier
WHERE: Parker City Pier, Earl Gilbert Park 6603 Oakshore Dr. Parker, FL, 32404
WHEN: Feb. 10, 2024 11 a.m. CST
As part of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) early restoration program, the city of Parker submitted for and was selected to receive funding to construct a fishing pier for the public. This project was managed by the DEP's Deepwater Horizon Program for the design, permitting and construction of the pier. Construction of the pier commenced in March 2022 and was completed in January 2024.
"The City of Parker is very pleased that the State of Florida in partnership with DEP were instrumental in bringing the Parker City Pier project to fruition. A fishing pier for the citizens of Parker, the service members of Tyndall Airforce Base and others, has been a vision of the city for the better part of 20 years beginning with the former Mayor of Parker Brenda Hendricks," said Mayor Andrew Kelly. "The City is grateful for the focus and outcome that adds to the recovery of the area. Parker now joins so many other recovered areas so catastrophically damaged by Hurricane Michael and the Deepwater Horizon Spill with this spectacular addition to the gateway of the city."
The City of Parker received approximately $3.2 million in funding for construction of the new pier located in Earl Gilbert Park. The pier is approximately 563 ft long with beautiful views of East Bay. This pier will provide visitors with opportunities for recreational fishing, wildlife viewing and sunset watching.
We could not be more proud of the dedication and hard work of all the partners including engineers, scientists, construction laborers and DEP’s Deepwater Horizon Program members that have joined together to create the Parker City Pier,” said Deputy Secretary for Ecosystems Restoration, Adam Blalock. “Residents and guests now have the opportunity to recreate and enjoy the East Bay waters.”
This project will enhance and increase public use and enjoyment of natural resources that were severely impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred on April 20, 2010.
Florida Trustees Holding Public Meeting Webinar December 7
The Florida Trustee Implementation Group will hold its annual public meeting via webinar on December 7, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. ET. During the meeting we will present an update on Florida Restoration Area plans, projects, and activities. After the presentation, we will provide an opportunity for attendees to give verbal public comments. The webinar is open to everyone and we encourage your attendance and participation.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar. We recommend doing a GoToWebinar system check, and reviewing the attendee guide before joining the webinar.
The registration page also includes a question asking whether you would like to give a verbal public comment during the meeting. If you answer yes, you will receive a follow up email with additional instructions. If you are not sure when you register, you will have another opportunity during the webinar to sign up to speak.
Please contact email@example.com, if you need special assistance due to a hearing or visual impairment.
If you are unable to attend the public meeting, we will update the Florida Restoration Area page with materials from the webinar and we will send a follow-up email with this information when it is available.
Florida Living Shoreline Project Wins Prestigious Award
The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) has named the Florida Trustee Implementation Group funded Cat Point Living Shoreline project one of five recipients for this year’s Best Restored Shores Award. ASBPA is a large, 100-year old organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enhancing coasts by merging science and public policy.
The Cat Point Living Shoreline project, located in the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, was approved during the Early Restoration Phase of the Trustees’ massive and ongoing effort to repair the injury to natural resources and their services in the Florida Restoration area caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This project, one of the more than 70 projects thus far approved by the Florida Restoration Area Trustees, is based on the concept of using nature-based solutions to protect a disappearing shoreline and transform it into a thriving and functional salt marsh habitat.
Sixteen breakwater structures make up the 1,300-foot “backbone” of the project located off the shores of Eastpoint, Florida in Apalachicola Bay. The breakwaters now protect the shoreline against wave action, flooding, and storm surge and provide a protected area for oyster restoration. Behind the breakwaters, 20,634 native marsh grasses were planted to enhance and create salt marsh, which acts as a natural filter to help improve coastal water quality. The marsh also provides habitat for juvenile fish; invertebrates including crabs, shrimp, and oysters; small mammals and reptiles; and wading birds including herons and egrets.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, as the implementing trustee, worked with an extensive group of public and private partners on this restoration project, including the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Duke Energy, and the Conservation Corps of the Forgotten and Emerald Coasts, who assisted with planting and educational outreach.
Monitoring of projects is an important part of restoration. The Trustees, specifically Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Central Panhandle Aquatic Preserves (CPAP) staff, have monitored the project since construction and planting were completed and will continue monitoring until 2025.
The ASBPA established the Best Restored Shores Award to acknowledge and encourage more effective coastal risk management, including restoring natural infrastructure and addressing erosion, flooding, and related hazards. The 2023 Best Restored Shores were recognized at the Association’s National Coastal Conference in Providence, Rhode Island in October.
DEP Announces Draft List of Projects for Funding Under RESTORE Funded Priorities List 3b
The draft list of projects recommend for funding under RESTORE Funded Priorities List (FPL) 3b Florida programs is now available on Florida’s Deepwater Horizon RESTORE FPL 3b website.
The state of Florida received approximately $30 million in approved (Category 1) funds plus an additional $39 million (Category 2) that has been identified for funding future projects. These awards will fund Florida-based Gulf of Mexico restoration projects that meet the goals of the FPL 3b Florida programs. Project ideas were solicited between June 9 and July 11, 2022, and project proponents submitted proposals via the Florida Deepwater Horizon’s web portal.
Project proposals were screened using selection criteria, and 12 projects were selected for the following RESTORE FPL3b Florida programs: Gulf Coast Resiliency Program (4); Gulf Coast Tributaries Hydrologic Restoration Program (3); and Water Quality Improvement Program (5).
DEP has posted a draft list of the selected projects, associated funding amounts, and brief project descriptions for public review and comment.
The public comment period is open through December 16, 2022. You may submit comments using the following options.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection 3900 Commonwealth Blvd. MS 240 Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000
The final project list and associated project workplans will be submitted to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) for approval.
Submit Project Ideas for Florida’s Third Restoration Plan
The Florida Trustee Implementation Group invites you to submit project ideas for restoration in Florida.
For our upcoming third post-settlement restoration plan, we would like your project ideas regarding restoration of water quality.
Addressing water quality can use a range of approaches to enhance ecosystem services and recreational use along the Florida Gulf coast by reducing pollutants, nutrients, and pathogens discharged to coastal watersheds and improving hydrology. These restoration approaches might include: reducing pollution and hydrologic degradation; reducing nutrient loads; creating, restoring, and enhancing coastal wetlands; and protecting and conserving marine, coastal, estuarine, and riparian habitats. (For additional information, see the Trustee Council Programmatic Restoration Plan Sections 5.5.5, 5.D.1.1, 5.D.1.7, 5.D.2)
We will use a portion of the settlement funds from the Florida TIG’s Water Quality Restoration Type allocation for these types of restoration projects.
Please submit your project ideas to: Trustee Council's Portal or the Deepwater Horizon Florida portal. We will accept project ideas submitted or updated to the portals between November 7 and December 22, 2022. If you previously submitted a project idea, you will need to update it for consideration under this solicitation.
Florida Trustee Implementation Group Approves Plan to Enhance Public Access to Coastal Habitats at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
The Florida Trustee Implementation Group has approved the Phase V.4 Florida Coastal Access Project Plan for the acquisition of the Dickerson Bay parcel. This 114-acre coastal parcel will become part of the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct minor restoration activities and implement recreational improvements. The public will have access to hiking and wildlife viewing around unique shrub-scrub and longleaf pine uplands. The estimated cost of the project is $685,000.
We released a draft plan for public comment on April 18, 2022. To help the public become familiar with our proposal and take public comment, we held a webinar on May 10 and a public meeting on May 12.
The Florida Coastal Access Project enhances public access to surrounding natural resources and increases recreational opportunities through the acquisition and/or enhancement of coastal land in the Florida Panhandle helping to restore impacts to recreational use due to the spill.
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.