November 4, 2019
Concernedabout algal blooms, rising sea level, and conservation and management of ourcoastal resources? Want to influencewhat we do about these issues? TheFlorida Ocean Alliance is working with stakeholders to prepare a strategic planto help ensure that Florida’s coastal and ocean resources remain healthy andeconomically viable for future generations.
At thedirection of the Florida Legislature and working closely with theFlorida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish andWildlife Conservation Commission, the Alliance is holding public workshopsacross Florida to hear from all interested stakeholders.
The first workshop, and the only one to be held in the Panhandle, will be November 5th from 6 to 8 PM Central Time at Gulf Coast State College, Student Union East (SUE) 232. Come learn about the issues we face, and help decide what we do about them. For more information on this and all the workshops, visit http://www.floridaoceanalliance.org/florida-ocean-alliance-strategic-plan-floridas-coasts-oceans/
As a reminder, the Florida Department ofEnvironmental Protection is hosting the Florida Deepwater Horizon Summit November14 at Fort Walton Beach. There is noregistration fee. It will be a goodopportunity for an overview of projects and initiativesand to network with those involved with Gulf restoration in Florida. Agenda and information at https://floridadep.gov/wra/deepwater-horizon/content/2019-deepwater-horizon-restoration-summit
The Summit will also serve as theannual meeting of the Florida Trustee Implementation Group of the DeepwaterHorizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees. https://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/florida
Before the Summit, you might want to check out the DeepwaterHorizon-Funded Project Story Map. https://fdep.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Shortlist/index.html?appid=d8198b64b53145539b68b044a7e7b813
And the Florida Gulf Consortium board will meet November 20in Fort Lauderdale. The board is made upof one representative from each of Florida's 23 Gulf Coastal Counties plus sixnon-voting Governor's appointees. The Consortium prepares Florida's StateExpenditure Plan for the RESTORE Act Spill Impact Component (Pot 3) funds. TheConsortium is also responsible for managing Pot 3 grants for Florida. https://www.gulfconsortium.org/
August 23, 2019
Bay County has received grant awards for five of the projects included in its Multi-Year Plan for RESTORE Act Direct Component (Pot 1) projects. Work is underway by the City of Lynn Haven on the Porter Park Improvements project, and the City of Panama City will start the Carl Gray Park boat ramp improvements soon. The Panama City Marine Institute is soliciting bids to replace its dock used for bay restoration activities. Bay County will issue a Request for Qualifications soon for its stormwater master plan update. And the County is progressing on a new artificial reef project. A status table of Bay County's Pot 1 projects can be downloaded.
The Florida Gulf coastal counties Consortium will meet at 2:00 pm CT September 25 at the newly-reopened Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf & Spa Resort. The meeting is open to the public, with opportunities for comments at the start and end of the meeting. The Gulf Consortium, made up of one representative from each Florida Gulf coastal county and six non-voting Governor appointees, is tasked by the RESTORE Act with preparing and implementing Florida’s State Expenditure Plan for the Oil Spill Impact Component, also known as Pot 3. The funds are from Deepwater Horizon disaster Clean Water Act fines. Meeting materials will be available at the Consortium web page https://www.gulfconsortium.org/.
The Consortium prepared the initial State Expenditure Plan, which was then approved by the Gulf RESTORE Council. Projects in the plan are phased over 15 years, the settlement payout time. A grant application must be submitted for each project in the plan. Bay County has submitted its first grant application, support for St. Andrew Bay Watch water quality monitoring and reporting. The Gulf RESTORE Council is reviewing the application.
Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. has made great progress awarding Deepwater Horizon economic damage settlement funds for the recovery, diversification, and enhancement of the eight Northwest Florida counties disproportionately affected by the oil spill. Sixteen grants have been awarded, including for three projects in Bay County. The Board also provided funds in response to Bay County’s request for assistance with Hurricane Michael’s projected impact on ad valorem tax receipts. The full list of grant awards is at https://www.myfloridatriumph.com/proposals/board-approved-grants/.
May 14, 2018
The Florida Gulf coastal counties Consortium will meet at 10:00 am CT, Thursday, May 17, at the Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort, 520 Richard Jackson Blvd., Panama City Beach. The meeting is open to the public, with opportunities for comments at the start and end of the meeting. The Gulf Consortium, made up of one representative from each Florida Gulf coastal county and six non-voting Governor appointees, is tasked by the RESTORE Act with preparing Florida’s State Expenditure Plan for the Oil Spill Impact Component, also known as Pot 3. The funds are from Deepwater Horizon disaster Clean Water Act fines.
The major item on the agenda is the Consortium Board approval of the draft final State Expenditure Plan, which outlines how Florida’s RESTORE Act Spill Impact Component funds will be spent. Florida’s allocation is $294 million, paid over a 15-year period. Approximately $12 million will be spent on projects in each of Florida’s 23 Gulf coastal counties. Public comment webinars and meetings regarding the plan were held earlier this year, including one in Panama City.
The Draft Final State Expenditure Plan is available electronically via the following links:
Appendix E https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/dde1f7_d1a7d883ed774af58424dc99d0b1bf9a.pdf (5 megs)
Additional information is available on the Consortium’s web page https://www.gulfconsortium.org/
March 21, 2018
On March 20th, the Bay County Board of County Commissioners approved an agreement between the County and Panama City Marine Institute (PCMI) to use RESTORE Act Direct Component funds to replace the dilapidated PCMI dock with a new dock. The dock is used by multiple nonprofit organizations and government agencies to access the St. Andrew Bay system for environmental restoration projects.
The project is one of nine projects in Bay County’s RESTORE Act Multi-Year Implementation Plan that was approved by the Board and accepted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The County also received RESTORE funds to update the Bay County Stormwater Master Plan and Capital Improvement Strategic Plan. An agreement is being drafted between the County and the City of Panama City to use RESTORE funds to refurbish the Carl Gray Park boat ramp.
January 17, 2018
The Florida Gulf Counties Consortium will hold a public review meeting on the draft State Expenditure Plan at 6:30 pm CT on January 22, 2018, in the Bay County Commission Chambers. The Plan outlines how Florida’s RESTORE Act Spill Impact Component funds will be spent. The funds are from Deepwater Horizon disaster Clean Water Act fines.
Florida’s allocation is $294 million, paid over a 15-year period. Approximately $12 million will be spent on projects in each of Florida’s 23 coastal counties. The plan can be downloaded from https://www.gulfconsortium.org/draft-state-expenditure-plan (22 megs). Another public review meeting will be in Tampa on January 23. Two public review webinars will also be held on Feb. 1 and 15. The comment period ends March 2, 2018. Additional information and a link to a comment form is at https://www.gulfconsortium.org/draft-state-expenditure-plan
December 15, 2017
Bay County is proposing an amendment to its RESTORE Act Direct Component Multiyear Implementation Plan. The amendment only affects the Porter Park Improvements project, proposed by the City of Lynn Haven.
The major change is to the scope of this project. Pot 1 funds were proposed to fund a portion of an improvement plan for Porter Park. The City requested RESTORE Act funds to improve the existing ramp, install fixed staging docks and a floating dock, and to replace the failing seawall. The overall improvement plan as described also included facilities such as restrooms, pavilions, parking and playground equipment.
Because of the sequencing of the improvement project, the City made the improvements to the ramp, docks and seawall prior to Treasury approval of the grant application. The City would like to amend its RESTORE Act proposal to have the RESTORE Act funds contribute to the future costs of the restrooms, pavilions, parking and playground equipment rather than the improvements now in place. The amount of RESTORE funds allocated for the project will remain the same.
Because of the change to the project objectives, Treasury considers this a material modification to the Plan and requires an amendment to the Plan, including the opportunity for public comment on the amendment. The Bay County Board of County Commissioners will consider the draft amendment to the Multi-Year Implementation Plan for Bay County’s Direct Component of the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (RESTORE Act “Pot 1”) at their December 19, 2017 meeting beginning at 9:00 a.m. A public hearing will be conducted during which the public will have an opportunity to comment. After the meeting, the public will have 45 days to comment on the draft Plan amendment. Comments may be submitted by email to RESTOREproposals@baycountyfl.gov or may be mailed to: RESTORE Act Direct Component, County Manager’s Office, 840 W. 11th St., Panama City, FL 32401.
An overview of the process and the proposed amendments are available at https://fl-baycounty.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/2275 and will also be available for viewing at the main Bay County Public Library.
December 1, 2017
The Gulf Consortium is a public entity that includes Florida's 23 Gulf Coast counties, from Escambia County in the western panhandle of Florida to Monroe County on Florida’s southern tip. Florida’s 23 Gulf Coast Counties formed the Consortium to meet requirements of the RESTORE Act to develop a State Expenditure Plan for economic and environmental recovery of the Gulf coast in Florida following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The plan details how Florida’s portion of the RESTORE Act Oil Spill Impact Component, also known as Pot 3, will be spent....
Find the latest updates to Bay County's reception of the RESTORE Act on our RESTORE Act Updates - Bay County.
Background - Response to Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster
The RESTORE Act was created to help the Gulf of Mexico's environment and economy recover from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and other harmful influences. Signed into law in July 2012, the RESTORE Act (Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act) dedicates 80% of all Clean Water Act administrative and civil penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon spill to a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund.
Funding Through Settlements
Bay County will receive approximately $42 million through the RESTORE Act over about 17 years. The funds are from federal settlements with Deepwater Horizon entities BP, Transocean and Anadarko.
Approved Steps & Proposals
On January 21, 2014, the Bay County Board of County Commissioners approved Resolution 3207 that established the nine-member RESTORE Act Advisory Committee. The Committee drafted a Multi-Year Implementation Plan with criteria to guide the Committee in selecting projects for funding with RESTORE Act funds. After approval of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), the Committee solicited project nominations and public comment. The Committee received and reviewed 47 pre-proposals and approved 22 to advance to the proposal stage through an open, public process. The Committee recommended 14 proposals to the BOCC. The BOCC added a proposal and opened the draft plan and projects for public input. On October 4, 2016, the BOCC approved the Multi-Year Implementation Plan and nine projects and transmitted the plan to the U.S Department of the Treasury.
Advisory Committee Preview
Members of the Bay County RESTORE Act Advisory Committee are:
- Becca Hardin, representing Bay County Economic Development Alliance
- Wayne Stubbs, representing Port Panama City
- Kim Bodine, representing the CareerSource Gulf Coast
- Dean Dr. Randy Hanna, representing Florida State University Panama City
- Melissa Thompson, nominated by Comm. Tommy Hamm, District 1
- Adam Albritton, nominated by Comm. Robert Carroll, District 2
- Brandon Aldridge, nominated by Comm. William T. Dozier, District 3
- WC. Harlow, nominated by Chairman Guy M. Tunnell, District 4
- Jack Bishop, nominated by Comm. Philip Griffitts, District 5
If you are interested in receiving an occasional email on Bay County RESTORE Act information, please email Jim Muller, the RESTORE Act Coordinator, and include "Subscribe" in the subject line. Please note that Florida has a very broad Public Records Law and your email communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.