August 8, 2014
Gulf Restoration Council Prepares for Project Selection.
The Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund has more than $600 million in its coffers. The monies are part of the settlement agreement reached with Transocean for its role in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. 30% of this amount is to be spent by the Council to implement the Comprehensive Plan - ‘Pot Two’ of the RESTORE Act. Additional funding for the Trust Fund is expected from BP LLC but neither the amount nor the timing is known.
On July 25th, the Gulf Restoration Council announced several policies which will govern how the Council will select programs and projects to implement the Comprehensive Plan. According to the announcement, Council members will be able to submit projects for consideration by the end of August, 2014. The projects that are selected will be placed on the Funded Priorities List and will be funded through fines paid by Transocean. The process will be expanded as other funds are added to the Trust Fund. However, no funds will be expended until regulations are published by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The Treasury regulations were due in January, 2013 and recent remarks by top officials suggest that they will be published within 30 days.
Projects submitted for inclusion on the Funded Priorities List should focus on Habitat and Water Quality goals. Proposers are encouraged to submit projects with the following characteristics:
steps in addressing a significant ecosystem issue and that future projects can be tiered to substantially increase the benefits;
Projects will undergo a scientific evaluation, and will also be reviewed to ensure that they meet the goals of the Comprehensive Plan and that they comply with environmental regulations. There will be a public engagement process and opportunities for public comment. Community members may submit proposals through their State Council members. For more information, visit:
Texas Launches Website for Coastal Restoration.
The State of Texas has launched a new website to provide two-way communication on the oil spill restoration process. The site provides detailed information on the three major funding sources for restoration activities. A project submission form will be added soon. For more information, visit: http://www.restorethetexascoast.org/.
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Invites Public Input.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will hold a series of Community Conversations to discuss Gulf restoration priorities and opportunities for Mississippi. Meetings will be held August 20 - 22, 2014. For more information, visit the http://www.restore.ms/.
Rally 2014 Registration is Open.
Join your fellow land conservationists at Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference in Providence, Rhode Island for great field experiences, workshops and seminars. For more information, visit:
Matching Funds Available through the Gulf Coast Land Conservation Project Assistance Fund (Project Assistance Fund).
PGCLC member organizations are eligible for matching funds through the Project Assistance Fund to prepare land protection projects for funding through oil spill restoration programs or other sources. PGCLC member organizations may apply for matching funds at any time. The Fund is being administered by the Galveston Bay Foundation through a generous grant from the Knobloch Family Foundation. For more information, contact Matthew Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-332-3381 ext. 206.
The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation is organized under the auspices of the Land Trust Alliance which provides administrative and fiscal support. The mission of the Gulf Partnership is to work together across the five Gulf of Mexico states to increase the pace, quality and permanence of voluntary land and water conservation in the coastal region. For more information regarding any item in this newsletter, contact Julia Weaver, Partnership Co-Coordinator.
228-219-2279 or email@example.com