The official website of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

Funded Priorities List 3a

The Council develops Funded Priorities Lists (FPLs) through collaboration among its members and with feedback from stakeholders across the Gulf. As a result of this collaborative process, the Council determined that developing FPL 3 using a phased approach would enable the Council to respond to ecosystem needs and take advantage of important partnership opportunities to advance large-scale ecosystem restoration in the near term.
In October 2019, the Council solicited two project proposals for potential funding under Bucket 2 in the first phase of FPL 3, referred to as FPL 3a. This proposed phase adhered to the FPL development processes committed to by the Council, particularly as they relate to the use of the best available science (BAS), public engagement and transparency, and the Council’s recently finalized Planning Framework. In developing the second phase, FPL 3b, the Council followed the same process as it considered proposals that address ecosystem needs in Texas, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama, along with regional and Gulfwide proposals.

Proposal Submission and Review Process

This process began with the Council seeking detailed funding proposals on the two potential FPL 3a projects from their respective state sponsors. Louisiana and Alabama submitted project proposals developed according to the Council’s Proposal Submission Guidelines and Review Process. In addition, these projects were reviewed for:

  • Consistency with the RESTORE Act priority criteria and the Council’s Comprehensive Plan goals and objectives,
  • Whether all necessary environmental compliance documentation has been obtained,
  • Consistency with the Council’s 2019 Planning Framework, and
  • Use of the best available science, as required by the RESTORE Act.

Best Available Science

According to the Council’s Proposal Submission Guidelines and Review Process, all proposals are provided to three external scientists to review to determine if the best available science was applied to the proposals. These reviews were discussed and summarized by an internal best available science review panel. Based on the results of the reviews described above, Council members were able to revise their proposals to address any identified gaps.

FPL 3a Proposals

There were two large-scale proposals considered for the first phase of FPL 3. The proposal package reviewed by the Council for these two activities includes the revised proposal, any associated letters of support, the reviews, responses to reviewer comments, and the original proposal being considered in this phase.

River Reintroduction into the Maurepas Swamp (Louisiana)

Perdido River Land Conservation and Habitat Enhancements Project (Alabama)

Public Review and Comment on Draft FPL 3a- December 9, 2019 - January 10, 2020

The public was encouraged to review and comment on the Draft FPL 3a from December 9, 2019 - until 11:59 pm MST January 10, 2020. On December 9, the RESTORE Council hosted two two live public webinars. During the first week of public review and comment, meetings were held in Baton Rouge, LA and Spanish Fort, AL to provide additional opportunities to comment. The Council released Funded Priorities List 3a: Response to Comments which includes a summary of the 286 unique public comments received from 3,262 stakeholders and responses to those comments. The Council has incorporated public input into the draft version of the final Funded Priorities List 3a, the Council voted to approve the final FPL 3a on February 12, 2020.

Notice of Funding Availability

In accordance with the RESTORE Act, the Council announced the Notice of Funding Availability: Council-Selected Restoration Component 2020 FPL 3a, including application submission requirements and review procedures. Eligible applicants are limited to members of the Council or their administrative agents. Council members are the governors of the Gulf Coast States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas; and the Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, the Army, Commerce, Homeland Security and the Interior; and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. No other entities are eligible to apply under this announcement.