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.
The Consortium Board approved the Draft “Stand-Up” State Expenditure Plan (SEP) on November 15th. The Stand-Up SEP describes how the Gulf Consortium will manage the implementation of the State Expenditure Plan, which will include projects in all 23 counties. The draft Stand-Up State expenditure plan is expected to be approved by the the Board in January 2018.
The Consortium is asking for public comment by December 29th on the Draft Stand-Up SEP. A comment portal is available here. The draft plan can be accessed from a link at the top of the page.
Find the latest updates to Bay County's reception of the RESTORE Act on our blog.
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.