MONTGOMERY, AL (STL.News) Governor Kay Ivey announced that the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) approved $302 million in funding decisions for restoration activities spanning the Gulf Coast states. Alabama will benefit with projects totaling more than $81 million for restoration activities to address injuries in Alabama resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Alabama’s projects, approved as part of Funded Priorities Lists 3a and 3b, include:
- Perdido River Land Conservation and Habitat Enhancements ($28 million)
- Coastal Alabama Regional Water Quality Program ($35 million)
- Perdido Watershed Water Quality Improvements & Restoration Assessment Program ($1.5 million)
- Enhancing Hydrologic Connectivity in Justin’s Bay (Mobile Bay) ($1 million)
- Enhancing Gulf Waters through Forested Watershed Restoration ($10 million to Alabama Forestry Commission)
- Gulf of Mexico GulfCorps Program ($2 million)
- Flow Decision Support Tool for Mobile and Perdido River Basins ($3.4 million)
- Tribal Youth Coastal Restoration Program ($225,000)
“These projects continue Alabama’s recovery from the Deepwater Horizon disaster by investing our restoration funds in large-scale regional programs such as water quality improvements and habitat conservation. These efforts restore our coast and contribute to its resilience. I thank the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Federal RESTORE Council for their continued leadership and collaboration in these efforts,” Governor Ivey said.
ADCNR Commissioner Chris Blankenship stressed the cooperative nature of the work. “The activities identified in Funded Priorities Lists are developed through collaboration among RESTORE Council members from all five Gulf States and six federal agencies with input from multiple stakeholders. This investment in restoration brings Alabama’s DWH funded projects to more $850 million. ADCNR is honored to continue to work for the people of Alabama and to secure funding approval for the stewardship of our natural resources.”
Today’s vote marks the completion of the RESTORE Council’s third Funded Priorities List, developed in two phases. The first phase, approved in February 2020 and referred to as FPL 3a, included two large-scale projects: The River Reintroduction into the Maurepas Swamp in Louisiana and Perdido River Land Conservation and Habitat Enhancements in Alabama. Today’s second phase, FPL 3b, will address a range of ecosystem needs in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas. Additional Gulfwide programs will benefit all five states impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.