On Thursday, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released the draft of its Initial Comprehensive Plan for restoration of the Gulf. This plan will guide how the Council’s RESTORE funds (“Pot 2”) will be spent, and will influence Pot 3 funds as well. The Council also released the draft Environmental Assessment and a preliminary list of projects. The Council will not necessarily prioritize or fund these projects.
The criteria for selecting Council projects are not complete. This gives the public an opportunity to substantially influence the plan’s final content. Six public engagement sessions throughout the Gulf states are scheduled for June. A Pensacola session will be held June 3, and a session in St. Petersburg on June 17. Details will be posted on Audubon’s RESTORE Calendar as it becomes available.
The public comment period ends June 24, and the final plan will be released later in the summer. Audubon Florida is currently reviewing the plan and will provide supporters with more information in the coming days. Please check back to this website.