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8/29/2014
Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Project
8/24/2014
Gulf Restoration Council Announces Proposal Submission Window For Council Members, Releases Interim Final Rule to Support State Planning Efforts
August 21, 2014 | 12:14:08 PM EDT
Media Contact: Bethany Carl Kraft, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, 202.431.8180
 
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) announced today the release of project submission guidelines and a new rule to support State planning efforts, marking a significant milestone in the Council’s efforts to restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf coast region. With the release of these guidelines, Council members may begin submitting project and program proposals to the Council for funding. The Council will invest in specific actions, projects and programs to achieve on-the-ground results to restore the overall health of the ecosystem of the Gulf coast region.
 
“The release of these guidelines and rule is a critical step forward that will allow the Council to get resources on the ground for restoration,” said Secretary Penny Pritzker, Chairperson of the Gulf Restoration Council. “We remain committed to restoring the region's economic and environmental health and ensuring the Gulf comes back stronger than before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”
The project submission window for members opens today and will close no earlier than November 17, 2014. The projects and programs selected by the Council will be included on a draft Funded Priorities List (FPL) and published for public comment. Approximately $150-180 million from the settlement with Transocean Deepwater Inc. and related entities will be available to fund projects and programs under the Council-Selected Restoration Component. The Council will select and fund projects and programs that restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, water quality, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region. The Council finalized the process for evaluating and selecting restoration projects in July 2014.
 
“We are excited to announce the start of the project selection process and look forward to receiving excellent proposals from our Council members in the coming months. The Council adopted a merit-based process to evaluate and select projects which will put the Council members in a strong position to move forward with project implementation,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.
 
The Council will continue to seek broad participation from the diverse stakeholders in the Gulf Coast region and will provide opportunities for public engagement across the Gulf region. Dates and locations will be made available on the Council’s web site. State and federal members will coordinate their outreach efforts.
 
The Council also announced today that a new rule has been published in the Federal Register for Gulf Coast states to receive funding for development of State Expenditure Plans. While the Council will select and fund projects and programs to restore the ecosystem with Council-Selected Restoration Component funds, Spill Impact Component funds will be invested in projects identified in approved State Expenditure Plans. The Interim Final Rule provides access to up to 5% of the funds available to each State under the Oil Spill Impact Component for planning. The Council anticipates releasing a proposed rule later this year that sets forth the final oil spill impact formula and sets levels of funding provided to each State.
 
“In recognition of the need to provide funding to support the development of State Expenditure Plans, the Council takes an important step today in making needed planning funds available to the States. In particular, the Council recognizes the importance of these planning funds to support the efforts of Florida’s Gulf Consortium,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.
 
Click here to read the Interim Final Review published in the Federal Register. à THIS IS FOR POT 3
 
The Council created a number of materials to provide information to the public about the Council and its work, which are included below.
Proposal Submission Guidelines for Council Members. à THIS IS FOR POT 2
 
 
Amanda Fuller, Esq.
Texas Policy Specialist
Gulf of Mexico Restoration
National Wildlife Federation (NWF)
(512) 610-7773 phone
(281) 773-3202 mobile


Treasury Issues RESTORE Act Rule to Help Aid Recovering of Gulf Coast Communities
issued by the U.S. Treasury Department
8/13/2014
New rule supports environmental and economic restoration of the Gulf Coast region
WASHINGTON – To help further the recovery of communities affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the U.S. Treasury Department today announced that a new rule has been published in the Federal Register for Gulf Coast states and municipalities to receive funding for environmental restoration and economic development projects.  The Interim Final Rule outlines grant programs for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas that were established by the Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States (RESTORE) Act. 
“Treasury today took another important step to help the communities, ecosystems, and people of the Gulf Coast as they continue to recover from the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history,” said David Lebryk, Fiscal Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Treasury Department.  “With this action, affected states and municipalities can now begin the process of applying for grants from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund.”
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill released millions of barrels of crude oil in the Gulf waters, and caused extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats, fishing, and tourism.  On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed the RESTORE Act into law establishing a trust fund within Treasury with 80 percent of the civil penalties to be paid by parties responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
Under the Interim Final Rule published today, 35 percent of the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund is divided equally among the five states for ecological and economic restoration.  In the States of Alabama, Texas, and Mississippi, each will be responsible for obtaining and distributing the funds for the benefit of the Gulf region.  The State of Florida’s allocation goes to 23 coastal counties. The State of Louisiana’s allocation will be split between the state and the parishes, with 70 percent for state initiatives and 30 percent for initiatives chosen among 20 coastal parishes.  Separately, Treasury recently published a proposed rule that sets out the individual Louisiana parish allocations.
Treasury will also provide grants using 2.5 percent of the trust fund for research centers of excellence that will be selected by the Gulf Coast States.  Research centers of excellence will focus on science, technology, and monitoring.  In addition to these grant programs, the Interim Final Rule describes requirements for RESTORE Act programs administered by other federal agencies.  
Treasury is one of several federal entities working to implement the RESTORE Act.  The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, a federal entity composed of the five Gulf Coast States and six federal agencies, will use 30 percent of the trust fund for projects selected by the council, and administer grants to the states pursuant to council-approved state expenditure plans using an additional 30 percent.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will use the remaining 2.5 percent of the trust fund for a program focused on advancements in monitoring, observation, and technology. For more information on the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, please visit http://www.restorethegulf.gov/.
On September 6, 2013, Treasury published its first proposed rule to implement the Act.  Today’s rule builds on Treasury’s ongoing work to implement the RESTORE Act.
The formal Federal Register webpage will be available on Friday, August 15, 2014 along with program information on the Treasury website.



 
Here's a couple photos taken yesterday around 1pm...at the SB mouth....and one taken along the beach between Sargent and the SB.


 Also one taken over the Brazos mouth.

The seaweed is still thick and black  along the beaches but looks like fewer seaweed rafts offshore.
Those dark  areas offshore are cloud shadows.
 The green water  looks to be less than  a half mile offshore.
Bert



 Mike Holmes Texas Hunt Fish Click HERE 
2014 Hurricane Guide click HERE


2-28-2014: The Facts: San Bernard fix in the works


Mike Holmes Texas Hunt Fish  click HERE
 

 
To monitor water movement at the Brazos Floodgates, go to: http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/BusinessWithUs/OperationsDivision/BrazosRiverFloodgatesSummary.aspx 

(This article and previous ones can be found on tPrevious Articles)

Pictures of the San Bernard River mouth have been moved to page "Mouth Pictures".