Over $291 million dollars in projects approved along Florida’s Gulf Coast
Governor Rick Scott today announced that Florida’s State Expenditure Plan (SEP), which includes more than $291 million in projects to restore and protect Florida’s Gulf Coast, was approved by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. In 2013, Governor Scott signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Gulf Consortium, creating a collaborative process to develop the State Expenditure Plan for a portion of Florida’s RESTORE funding resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Governor Scott said, “Today, I am proud to announce the approval of Florida’s robust plan to invest more than $290 million in critical projects along Florida’s Gulf Coast. The communities impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill have come so far since that tragic disaster and we will never stop fighting to protect our environment and make sure families and businesses along the Gulf Coast continue to grow. The approval of this funding is great news and I look forward to continuing our good work with all of our partners to take care of Florida’s Gulf Coast.”
Grover Robinson, Gulf Consortium Chairman, said, “We are very excited about the approval of the Florida State Expenditure Plan. This is a culmination of 5 years of work and cooperation with and between federal, state and local governments. This ambitious plan implements environmental restoration projects across 23 counties from the Perdido River in my county of Escambia to Key West in Monroe County. I am incredibly proud of the work that has been done and the goals that will be accomplished to make Florida better. Thank you to everyone who participated in this endeavor and all Floridians will benefit from this effort.”
DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein said, “I would like to thank the Gulf Consortium for developing a plan that includes a diverse suite of projects and programs that focus on environmental restoration and protection of water quality and coastal resources and promotion of tourism along our Gulf Coast. Florida’s counties clearly recognize that healthy ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and wetlands are inextricably linked to our state’s economy. The Department looks forward to working with the Gulf Consortium and its member counties on these and efforts will continue to assist in identifying and leveraging other potential funding opportunities.”
Click here to view the SEP.
The Gulf Consortium is a public entity created in 2012 that consists of one representative of each of Florida’s Gulf Coast counties and six non-voting Governor appointees. The Gulf Consortium is working in partnership with the State of Florida to recover the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The RESTORE Act, which was passed by Congress on June 29, 2012, created the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, and establishes various funding categories. The RESTORE Act is funded by Clean Water Act civil and administrative penalties paid by responsible parties from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Council is comprised of the five Gulf State Governors and six federal agencies.