Preparing Texas Gulf Coast Counties for RESTORE Act Funds
While the agreement is still subject to final approval the Justice Department has reached a record $18.7 billion settlement with BP PLC, Transocean Ltd., and other companies responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 workers and spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Senior Geoscientist Juan Moya, Ph.D. and Amanda Fuller, deputy director of the Gulf of Mexico Restoration Program for the National Wildlife Federation have written a guest column in this month's issue of Texas County Progress magazine, explaining how Texas Gulf Coast counties can prepare to apply for RESTORE Act funding. Amanda Fuller is leading several initiatives along the Texas coast to make sure applicants understand the RESTORE Act application process.
Several issues to keep in mind when considering which projects to propose for funding:
With the grant review and award process so competitive, counties are likely to be more successful if they look for partners and advocates when evaluating what projects to champion and developing funding applications.
Commitment to Project Maintenance
Successful funding applications will include requests and ways to maintain a project once it is up and running. Given the 15-year timeframe for RESTORE Act payouts, applications may include monitoring as part of the grant by factoring the cost of maintenance.
Following a Federally Approved Environmental Plan
The Texas General Land Office’s Coastal Zone Management (CMP) Program Plan is a good template of a federally approved environmental plan that customers can study before submitting proposals for RESTORE Act funding. Other local plans may exist for some customers connected to the projects of interest.