64 South Water Street
Mobile, AL 36602
WASHINGTON — The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (the Council) announced today that it will hold its first public meeting on December 11, 2012 in Mobile, Alabama. 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 develop and oversee implementation of a comprehensive plan to help restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Gulf Restoration Council
The RESTORE Act established a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (the Council), which is comprised of governors from the five affected Gulf States’, the Secretaries from the U.S. Departments of Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, and Homeland Security as well as the Secretary of the Army and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Gulf States selected and President Obama appointed the Secretary of Commerce as the Council’s Chair.
The RESTORE Act dedicates 80 percent of all administrative and civil penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon spill to a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund and outlines a structure by which the funds can be utilized 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 sets forth the following framework for allocation of the Trust Fund:
• 35 percent of the money divided equally between the five Gulf States for ecological and economic restoration efforts in the region;
• 30 percent of the money through the Council to implement a comprehensive plan for ecosystem and economic recovery of the Gulf Coast;
• 30 percent of the money for States’ plans to address based on impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill;
• 2.5 percent of the money to create the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observation, Monitoring and Technology Program within the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and
• 2.5 percent of the money to the Centers of Excellence Research grants, which will each focus on science, technology, and monitoring related to Gulf restoration.