RESTORE Act Overview
The Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, established by the RESTORE Act, will have five "pots" of money to restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast region.
The RESTORE Act funding will derive from civil fines or penalties under the Clean Water Act, and is separate and apart from other BP payouts and settlements related to criminal fines, early restoration for resource damages, and claims paid to individuals, businesses, and government entities.
(Courtesy of Environmental Law Institute)
Pot 1: The “Local Pot” or more formally, “The Direct Component” – Monroe County receives a portion
All Florida Gulf coastal counties will receive a portion of Pot 1, also known as the Equal-Share State Allocation or the Direct Component (35% of the RESTORE fund, 7% to each state). The 23 counties along the Gulf will each get a portion of these funds. The “oiled” counties will receive a greater share of these funds than the other counties. These funds can be used for the restoration and protection of natural resources, mitigation of damage to fish and wildlife, and workforce development and job creation. Monroe County must prepare a Multi-Year Implementation Plan, and subsequent grant applications for each project it chooses to fund before it will receive the funding.
Pot 2: The “Federal Pot” or more formally, “The Council-Selected Restoration Component” – Directed by the Gulf Restoration Council
Pot 2 (30%) is controlled by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. Projects to be considered for funding must be nominated by a governor of one of the five Gulf States or one of the six federal entities on the Council. These funds will focus on environmental projects with guidance from the Council’s Comprehensive Plan.
Pot 3: The “State Pot” or more formally, the “Impact-Based State Allocation” – Directed by the Florida Gulf Consortium
Monroe County is a member of the intergovernmental group known as the Florida Gulf Coastal Counties Consortium. The Gulf Consortium will plan how to spend Florida’s share of Pot 3 funds, the Oil Spill Impact-Based Allocation (30% of RESTORE funds). The proportion of Pot 3 coming to Florida is not yet known. Each state will receive at least 5% of Pot 3. Funds can be used on the same types of projects as for Pot 1.
Pots 4 and 5: NOAA Gulf Restoration Science Program and State Centers of Excellence
Pots 4 and 5 (2.5% each) will be used for research and monitoring.
Status Update Report
The January 27, 2014 report by the Congressional Research Service is a summary of the actions taken to date as a result of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill and provides additional information.
The passage of the “Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012” (RESTORE Act) provides opportunities for meaningful efforts to revitalize Gulf of Mexico waters and resources from the harmful effects of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill. The Act establishes a trust fund for which 80% of the Clean Water Act civil penalties assessed will be distributed to the states and their respective political jurisdictions with a coastline contiguous to the Gulf of Mexico. The civil penalty amount has not yet been settled.
In the State of Florida, these penalties can be used by the affected counties along the Gulf of Mexico, including Monroe County, for a wide range of projects under the following categories:
- Restoration and protection of natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region
- Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife, and natural resources
- Implementation of a federally approved marine, coastal or comprehensive conservation management plan, including fisheries monitoring
- Workforce development and job creation
- Improvements to state parks in coastal areas affected by Deep Water Horizon spill
- Infrastructure projects benefiting the economy or ecological resources, including ports
- Coastal flood protection and related infrastructure
- Planning assistance
- Promotion of tourism, including recreational fishing
- Promotion of consumption of seafood harvested from the Gulf Coast region
As a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Monroe County is the recipient of the RESTORE Act funding from civil penalty fines from the responsible parties. The funds available to the County at this time, $1,167,643, are those from the settlement of Transocean.
Pursuant to RESTORE Act regulations, Monroe County developed the MYIP which describes the process the County used for project selection and award, and a description of those projects. The MYIP tracks the funds currently available to Monroe County and consists of three projects as ranked by Monroe County’s RESTORE Act Local Advisory Committee and approved by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners:
- Coral Restoration, $550,000;
- Canal Restoration Monroe County, $450,000; and
- Canal Restoration Islamorada, $100,000.
RESTORE Act Documents
Multi-year Implementation Plan
The County’s MYIP was formally approved by the Board of County Commissioners at its September 2015 board meeting and subsequently submitted to the Treasury Department in October 2016.
RESTORE Act Advisory Committee
On February 20, 2013, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners created a committee that would be tasked with making recommendations for projects that are in the best interest of the county.