Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
The Council, which was established by the Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourism, Opportunities Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act), will help restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region by developing and overseeing the implementation of a Comprehensive Plan and carrying out other responsibilities.
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released its Final Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy in August 2013.
The Council’s Comprehensive Plan establishes overarching restoration goals for the Gulf Coast region; provides details about how the Council will solicit, evaluate, and fund projects and programs for ecosystem restoration in the Gulf Coast region; outlines the process for the development, review, and approval of State Expenditure Plans; and highlights the Council’s next steps. The Council expects to release a Final Plan this summer.
FEDERAL COUNCIL RELEASES PROJECT SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
On August 21, 2014, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released its guidelines for project submission for funding through the Federal Council Pot, now formally known as the “Council-Selected Restoration Component.” Thirty percent of the money directed to the Trust Fund is managed by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to implement ecosystem restoration under a Comprehensive Plan, developed by the Council with input from the public, to restore the ecosystem and the economy of the Gulf Coast Region. This 30%, of which approximately $150-$180 million is available for projects and programs, is referred to as the Council-Selected Restoration Component. The Council will consider projects that align with the five goals in its Comprehensive Plan: Restore and Conserve Habitat, Restore Water Quality, Replenish and Protect Coastal and Marine Resources, Enhance Community Resilience, and Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy.
All of this and additional information on the Council can be found on its website Restore the Gulf.
Monroe County’s Federal Council Projects
Monroe County has previously submitted two water quality improvement proposals for the Federal Council funding consideration: Canal Restoration and Wastewater. These projects were submitted to the Florida DEP portal last year. At that time the process for federal council funding had not been determined, but the early direction was to submit proposals for federal council funding into the State’s portal. Now that the Council has finalized its process and only members of the Federal Council may submit proposals, we have begun reaching out to various members of the Council to solicit their interest in advocating for our projects. We remain uncertain exactly how Council members will determine which projects they advance.
Backup Documents for Canal Restoration Proposal:
- List of Keys Canals
- Phase I Canal Management Master Plan (CMMP) Report
- Aerial Photograph of Jolly Roger Estates showing culvert locations
- Project Descriptions of Organic Removal Canal Restorations
- DEP Grant for Bathymetry
- EPA Grant for Phase II CMMP
- Monroe County Stormwater Management Master Plan (SMMP)
- Florida Keys Reasonable Assurance Document (2011 revision)
Backup Documents for Wastewater Proposal:
- Facilities Plan for Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System (2012) Part 1
- Facilities Plan for Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System (2012) Part 2
- Facilities Plan for Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System (2012) Part 3
- Environmental Assessment for Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System (2010)
- FDEP Permits for Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System
- Florida Keys Water Quality Improvement Program Management Plan (2006)
- Florida Keys Water Quality Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (2004)
- Monroe County Sanitary Wastewater Master Plan (2000)
- National Marine Sanctuary Management Plan (2007)
- Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Protection Act (1990)
- Map of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
- Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Water Quality Protection Program, EPA (1992, 1993) Phase I, Phase II
- Fisheries of the United States, NOAA, 2011
- Permits Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System