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Florida Governor Announces $58M in Gulf Restoration Projects


PENSACOLA – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees have proposed $58 million in early restoration projects for Florida. To date, Phases I and II of early restoration projects for Florida have totaled $11.4 million.

Governor Scott said, “We’re committed to restoring the environment and economy that families have relied upon in the Gulf for generations. These $58 million in Florida projects represent a critical step forward in recovering from the natural resource and recreational losses that resulted from the BP oil spill. We will continue to work with our state, federal and local partners toward solutions that ensure impacted areas are revitalized for families.”

Florida’s Proposed NRDA Phase III Projects: Approximately $58 million

Florida Gulf Coast Marine Fisheries Hatchery/ Enhancement Center, Escambia County. Approximately $20 million
Florida Artificial Reef Creation and Restoration, Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay counties. Approximately $11.4 million
Pensacola Bay Living Shoreline, Escambia County. Approximately $11 million
Florida Oyster Reef Restoration Escambia, Santa Rosa, Bay and Franklin counties. Approximately $5.4 million
Scallop Enhancement for Increased Recreational Fishing Opportunity in the Florida Panhandle, Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, and Franklin counties. Approximately $3 million
Florida Bay Seagrass Recovery Project, Gulf, Franklin and Bay counties. Approximately $2.7 million
Big Lagoon State Park Boat Ramp Improvement, Escambia County. Approximately $1.5 million
Bob Sikes Pier Restoration, Escambia County. Approximately $1 million
Shell Point Beach Nourishment, Wakulla County. Approximately $880,000
Florida Cat Point Living Shoreline Project, Franklin County. Approximately $800,000
Perdido Key Boardwalk Improvements, Escambia County. Approximately $600,000
Perdido Key Dune Restoration, Escambia County. Approximately $600,000

These projects, if successfully finalized after public review and comment, are in addition to the seven projects, on which Florida has been working, including several boat ramps, a dune restoration project and projects to protect and restore shorebird and sea turtle nesting habitat. With the additional projects, Florida will have allocated nearly $69 million of the $100 million available through the early restoration process defined in the April 2011 Framework Agreement between BP and the Trustees.

The Trustees intend to propose the early restoration projects using a method similar to previous draft restoration plans in order to continue the process of using early restoration funding to restore natural resources, ecological services and human use services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

This next set of projects includes many of the proposals that citizens have been suggesting, such as oyster and scallop restoration, seagrass restoration, artificial reefs, living shorelines, recreational beach restoration, state park improvements, and a hatchery project which will help restore the fisheries in north Florida as well as provide much needed research into the area of fisheries management and restoration.

The Trustees have worked to develop and negotiate the 28 proposed projects Gulf-wide, of which 12 are being proposed by Florida.

About the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s principal environmental agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s environment and natural resources. The Department enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida’s air and water quality, cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention and acquires environmentally-sensitive lands for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves. To view the Department’s website log on to www.dep.state.fl.us.

© 2013 The Fishing Wire. – http://www.thefishingwire.com/story/287036