The official website of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

Planning Framework Draft

Beginning April 26, 2019, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council or Council) is providing the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Planning Framework draft (Planning Framework draft) for public review and comment as it continues to advance its vision, stated in the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy, for “A healthy and productive Gulf ecosystem achieved through collaboration on strategic restoration projects and programs.”

The resolution of civil claims and penalties associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has provided unprecedented funding for ecosystem restoration in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf). The Council plays a key role in developing strategies and implementing projects that help sustain the Gulf’s natural resources for future generations. With this responsibility in mind, the Council develops Funded Priorities Lists (FPLs) that describe the projects and programs it will fund. Projects and programs funded through the Council- Selected Restoration Component (commonly referred to as “Bucket 2”) must be in furtherance of the goals and objectives of the Council’s Comprehensive Plan and address at least one of the priority criteria identified in the RESTORE Act. Thus far, the Council has finalized two FPLs and plans to finalize a third in 2020.

Recognizing that needs outweigh available funds, the purpose of the Planning Framework draft is to signal the Council’s FPL 3 restoration priorities and to support the Council’s Comprehensive Plan commitments to:

  • Developing a regional ecosystem-based approach to restoration
  • Leveraging resources and partnerships through increased collaboration
  • Increasing public engagement, inclusion, and transparency regarding the funding decisions in Bucket 2
  • Advancing science-based decision-making
  • Delivering results and measuring impacts

Priority Approaches

The Planning Framework draft identifies priorities that strategically link past and future restoration funding decisions. In this way, the document serves as a “bridge” between the Council’s overarching goals and objectives and the specific restoration projects and programs approved in future FPLs. To that end, the Council will consider how future investments may build upon those in the Initial FPL, as well as other restoration activities funded by other restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico region. 

Although this Planning Framework draft was developed to support their decision-making for FPL 3, the Council views it as a “living” document that is broad enough to serve as a foundation for all future FPLs. The Council anticipates that it will review and revise this Planning Framework as needed prior to developing future FPLs.The Planning Framework draft is organized around priority approaches and associated techniques and their application within geographic areas. The RESTORE Council’s Comprehensive Plan goals and objectives can be met through actions called “priority approaches and techniques.” A priority approach may be implemented by multiple associated restoration techniques. Techniques are specific methods or activities used to carry out an approach.

Planning Framework Overview (Vietnamese Translation)
Planning Framework Executive Summary (Vietnamese Translation)

Planning Framework Executive Summary (Spanish Translation)

Priority Approaches Fact Sheets

The RESTORE Council recently provided a 7 day extension for the 45 day public review and comment period, the deadline for submitting public comments on the Planning Framework draft is 11:59 MDT June 19, 2019. The recent public comment date extension is not reflected on the fact sheets.

Create, restore, and enhance coastal wetlands, islands, shorelines, and headlands 

Create, restore, and enhance coastal wetlands, islands, shorelines, and headlands

(508 Compliant Version)
(Vietnamese Translation)

 

Protect and conserve coastal, estuarine, and riparian habitats

Protect and conserve coastal, estuarine, and riparian habitats

(508 Compliant Version)
(Vietnamese Translation)

 

Restore hydrology and natural Processes

Restore hydrology and natural Processes


(508
Compliant Version)
(Vietnamese Translation)

 

Reduce excess nutrients and other pollutants to watersheds

Reduce excess nutrients and other pollutants to watersheds

(508 Compliant Version)
(Vietnamese Translation)

 

Restore oyster habitat

Restore oyster habitat

(508 Compliant Version)
(Vietnamese Translation)

 

Geographic Areas

Geographic areas illustrate the general areas where the Council may implement certain approaches and techniques. The geographic areas described in the Planning Framework are a step toward identifying priority watersheds and/or estuaries for investment to meet the Comprehensive Plan goals and objectives. Together, these priority approaches, techniques, and geographic areas provide an indication to the public and potential funding partners of the kinds of projects and programs that the RESTORE Council may develop and consider for FPL 3 funding.  

Public Review and Comment Period: April 26 - June 19, 2019

Beginning April 26, 2019, the Planning Framework draft is available for a 45-day public review and comment period. The RESTORE Council recently provided a 7 day extension for the 45 day public review and comment period, the deadline for submitting public comments on the Planning Framework draft is 11:59 MDT June 19, 2019. During this time frame, the RESTORE Council is providing an overview of the Planning Framework draft via live public webinars and public meetings across the Gulf states. The Council is gathering public input on the Planning Framework draft to ensure restoration investments fit into a broad vision for the Gulf of Mexico. 

The RESTORE Council hosted and recorded two live public webinars on April 29, 2019. During each live webinar, Council staff presented an overview of the Planning Framework draft, and responded, in real time to selected questions from webinar participants. A recording of the Planning Framework draft webinar presentation and a list of all questions and responses from each webinar is available on our RESTORE Education Opportunities Series page. In order to give the public additional opportunities to learn about the Planning Framework draft, ask questions, and provide comments, the RESTORE Council hosted public meetings in each of the Gulf Coast states during the public comment period. 

If you are interested in receiving notifications of upcoming webinars, subscribe to receive the RESTORE Council’s automatic email updates at www.restorethegulf.gov/contact-us and select the “Public Meetings and Public Comment Periods” category in addition to other categories of interest to you.

Learn more about

Commenting on the Planning Framework Draft
Public Calendar- Planning Framework Draft
RESTORE Education Opportunities Series