UPDATE ON STATUS: RESTORE Direct Component (Bucket 1) RFGA
The Bucket 1 Review Team has submitted its evaluations of the more than 200 project applications received in response to the RFGA for the RESTORE Direct Component (Bucket 1) grant funds. As a reminder, the Bucket 1 Review Team consisted of representatives from several state agencies and the Governor’s Office. Commissioner Baker is in the process of reviewing those completed evaluations and the applications to identify potential projects for funding.
Following Baker’s review, and in collaboration with the Governor, a draft project list will be selected for inclusion in the State’s Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP). Under the RESTORE Act this plan is required to secure project funding and will be posted for public comment prior to submission to U.S. Treasury.
Please continue to visit this website for information on when the draft MIP, with the project list, will be posted in both the Texas Register and this website for public comment. Following the 45-day comment period, the finalized MIP will be submitted to the U.S. Treasury for acceptance.
We appreciate the overwhelming interest in the RESTORE Act program and look forward to presenting an MIP to the public that maximizes the benefit of these funds to the environment and economy of the Texas coast.
Texas Trustee Implementation Group Reviewing Restoration Project Proposals
The Texas Trustee Implementation Group (Texas TIG) is in the process of reviewing restoration proposals that were submitted by the August 31, 2016 deadline. This review is the next phase of Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) restoration planning.
Restoration funds allocated to the Texas TIG must be used for five specific restoration types. Early Restoration projects are already funding bird and sea turtle restoration types. Therefore, the Texas TIG is prioritizing current restoration planning efforts on restoration types that were not addressed previously: 1) restore and conserve wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitats; 2) restore water quality through nutrient reduction (nonpoint source); and 3) replenish and protect oysters. The Texas TIG will also consider projects for engineering and design that focus on the three restoration types mentioned above. The focus will be on these restoration categories, however the Texas TIG will continue to consider any important opportunities for additional restoration and protection of avian resources and sea turtles. All projects will be evaluated using the criteria established in the NRDA regulations (15 CFR 990.54).
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Releases the Draft 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) has released a proposed update to its 2013 Comprehensive Plan. The draft provides strategic guidance for the Council to follow as it makes decisions on funding projects and activities aimed at restoring the Gulf of Mexico.
Public comments on the draft Comprehensive Plan Update were accepted from August 23, 2016 to October 7, 2016.
For additional information on the draft Plan, visit the Council’s website at www.RestoreTheGulf.gov. The Plan is expected to be finalized and adopted by the council in mid-December 2016.