UPDATE: BUCKET 1 DRAFT PROJECT LIST

[Current as of 2/17/2017]

In consultation with the Office of the Governor a draft list of projects has been developed for the next phase of the evaluation to determine RESTORE Bucket 1 grant program recipients.

Please click here to view the draft list, including general information on each project.

The draft list was developed through a competitive process that began with a Request for Grant Applications (RFGA). Over 200 project applications requesting a combined total of $1.1 billion were received and reviewed to develop the draft list.

The next phase of the evaluation process will involve developing the draft Texas Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP), which will include the draft project list, as required under the RESTORE Act. The MIP with the draft project list will be posted for public comment in the Texas Register, as well as on the web site, http://www.restorethetexascoast.org/. During the 45-day comment period the public will have an opportunity to provide input and comments on the draft MIP as well as the draft project list. Comments received will be taken into consideration in the development of the final Texas MIP, including a final project list. The final MIP will be submitted to the U.S. Treasury for acceptance.

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT PROJECT LIST
ARE NOT BEING ACCEPTED AT THIS TIME

Approximately $66 million is currently available for Texas Bucket 1 RESTORE grants, which is a reimbursement program. A project’s inclusion on either the draft MIP or in the final MIP does not guarantee that it will receive a RESTORE Bucket 1 grant. Upon Treasury’s acceptance of the state’s MIP, including the project list, Commissioner Baker, in consultation with the Governor, will determine which projects will move forward to the federal grant application phase. Project funding becomes available only after the federal grant applications have been submitted and approved by Treasury. These applications cannot be submitted until after Treasury has accepted the state’s MIP.


PROCESS — The review and selection process is competitive and includes elements from other state and federal grant programs. The scoring criteria is based on the Priorities Document and is included in the RFGA. The initial list of selected projects will be posted for a 45-day public comment period and the final list of selected projects will be included in the Multi-year Implementation Plan required by U.S. Treasury to secure grant funds.

FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS – Applicants should be acquainted with the federal terms and conditions governing RESTORE Direct Component Grants.

FRAMEWORK — The Framework Document outlining the importance of the Texas coast and Texas’ implementation of the RESTORE Act, “CONSERVE, RESTORE, RENEW,” has been published.


Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Adopts the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) adopted the update to its 2013 Comprehensive Plan. The Plan provides strategic guidance for the Council to follow as it makes decisions on funding projects and activities aimed at restoring the Gulf of Mexico. The plan provides a framework to implement a coordinated region-wide restoration effort in a way that restores, protects and revitalizes the Gulf Coast region following the DWH oil spill. The Initial Comprehensive Plan provides a framework to implement a coordinated region-wide restoration effort in a way that restores, protects, and revitalizes the Gulf Coast region following the DWH oil spill.

For additional information on the Plan, visit the Council’s website at www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.


The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) approved the Initial Funded Priorities List (FPL) and the Spill Impact Component Rule

Restoration Component (Bucket 2)

FUNDED PRIORITIES LIST (FPL) — An FPL was developed by the Council to implement Bucket 2 (Council-Selected) of the federal RESTORE Act. The Council-approved FPL includes environmental projects and activities directly benefiting the state of Texas.

The FPL allocates approximately $140 million of project funding, including approximately $26 million for six projects in Texas. Four of the six projects in Texas will be managed by the state, through the TCEQ. Those projects include: Matagorda Bay System Landscape Conservation, Bayou Greenways, Bahia Grande Coastal Corridor, and Texas Beneficial Use and Marsh Restoration.

The projects and activities will be funded using civil penalties resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

See specific information on all the selected projects.

Oil Spill Component (Bucket 3)

The Council has adopted the final rule to implement Bucket 3 (Spill Impact) of the RESTORE Act.

Centers of Excellence (Bucket 5)

Texas was the first state in the nation to receive money from the RESTORE Trust Fund through an award from the U.S. Treasury to fund two Centers of Excellence. The two centers, Texas OneGulf, at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi and Subsea Systems Institute, at the University of Houston, equally share an initial $4.038 million. The establishment of the centers is part of Texas’ ongoing implementation of the RESTORE Act which requires that the five Gulf States affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill establish centers to conduct research on the Gulf Coast Region.

The Texas OneGulf Center of Excellence, established in January 2015 and led by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is a consortium of Texas marine oriented science and human health institutions. Their efforts focus on research activities that emphasize sustainable and resilient growth, as well as economic and commercial development in the coastal region.

For more information on the Texas OneGulf Center of Excellence, visit the Texas OneGulf website at http://www.texasonegulf.org/

The Subsea Systems Institute was established in 2015 under collaboration between the University of Houston, Rice University and the Johnson Space Center (NASA). Their focus is offshore energy development, including research and technology to improve the sustainable and safe development of energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

For more information on the Subsea Institute, visit http://www.uh.edu/uh-energy/research/subsea-institute/


About RESTORE

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The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012, or The RESTORE Act. The RESTORE Act, was passed by Congress on June 29, 2012, and signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012. The RESTORE Act envisions a regional approach to restoring the long-term health of the valuable natural ecosystems and economy of the Gulf Coast region. The RESTORE Act dedicates 80 percent of any civil and administrative penalties paid under the Clean Water Act, after the enactment of the RESTORE Act, by responsible parties in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Trust Fund for ecosystem restoration, economic recovery, and tourism promotion in the Gulf Coast region. Following resolution of administrative and civil penalties, Texas is expected to receive at least $550 million in RESTORE funds through 2033.

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) is charged with helping to restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region by developing and overseeing the implementation of the RESTORE Act. The Council is chaired by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and includes the Governors of the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Army, Homeland Security and the Interior and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Toby Baker, Commissioner, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has been designated by the Governor of Texas, as the Texas representative on the Council.

In addition, the RESTORE Act authorizes the U.S. Treasury to manage the activities conducted by the states under Buckets 1 (Direct Component) and 5 (Centers of Excellence).

Restore Funds Chart

Funding

The money in the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund will be allocated to the Gulf Coast states and the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council according to the following guidelines:

  • 35 percent divided equally between the five Gulf Coast States to be used for ecosystem restoration, economic development & tourism promotion (Direct Component);
  • 30 percent for ecosystem restoration under the Comprehensive Plan developed and approved by the Council (Comprehensive Plan Component);
  • 30 percent divided among the five Gulf Coast States according to a formula to implement State Expenditure Plans, which require Council approval–each Gulf state is guaranteed a minimum of 5% of the 30% allocation (Spill Impact Component);
  • 2.5 percent dedicated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to establish a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observation, Monitoring & Technology Program; and
  • 2.5 percent allocated to the Gulf Coast States to award grants to establish Centers of Excellence.

RESTORE ACT ELIGIBLE COUNTIES – Map of Texas counties eligible for RESTORE Act funds

RESTORE Eligible Counties Map

Allocation of Funds Under the RESTORE Act

The Council and the State of Texas recognize this unique and unprecedented opportunity to implement a coordinated Gulf region-wide restoration effort. The Council’s five goals included in the Plan are: (1) Restore and Conserve Habitat – Restore and conserve the health, diversity, and resilience of key coastal, estuarine, and marine habitats. (2) Restore Water Quality – Restore and protect water quality of the Gulf Coast regions fresh, estuarine, and marine waters. (3) Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources – Restore and protect healthy, diverse, and sustainable living coastal and marine resources. (4) Enhance Community Resilience – Build upon and sustain communities with capacity to adapt to short- and long-term changes. (5) Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy – Enhance the sustainability and resiliency of the Gulf economy. That Plan is in the process of being updated.

Texas Efforts

Governor Rick Perry established The Texas RESTORE Advisory Board (PDF) (TxRAB) to advise and assist TCEQ Commissioner Toby Baker in performing his duties under the RESTORE Act. TxRAB members, representing 10 state agencies and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism, will assist in developing the required RESTORE Act plans as well as provide guidance and counsel regarding the allocation of RESTORE Act funds.

Public Participation

Listening sessions for Bucket 1 were held in communities along the Texas coast to receive input for finalizing the Priorities Document included in the RFGA. Workshops were also held in three coastal cities to provide instructions on completing the application for RESTORE funds.

Opportunities for public participation will be posted on this website.

Please check this website periodically for those postings and more details.


Links

Commissioner Baker Testifies at House Natural Resources Committee Hearing

View Commissioner Baker’s presentation.

Commissioner Baker’s Editorial on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, “From Destruction, Restoration”

View the editorial

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