The official website of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

Public Comment

The RESTORE Council requests public comment periodically to provide Gulf stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on Council activities. If you are interested in receiving notification of upcoming public comment periods and/or public meetings, subscribe to our eBlasts for automatic updates

Draft FPL 3b

On November 16, 2020, the RESTORE Council staff will begin a 50-day public review and comment period on the draft FPL 3b. The RESTORE Council will host and record two live public webinars on November 16, 2020. During each live webinar, Council staff presented an overview of the draft FPL 3b (Vietnamese translation), and responded in real time to clarifying questions from webinar participants. A recording of the draft FPL 3b webinar and a list of all questions and responses from this webinar will be available 3-5 business days.

In order to give the public additional opportunities to learn about the proposed projects and programs in specific geographic areas, the RESTORE Council is co-hosting virtual public meetings with each of the Gulf Coast states during the public comment period.

After you register for each meeting you will receive a link to participate and additional details on providing verbal comments during each webinar. In addition to accepting comments during our virtual public meetings, the RESTORE Council will be accepting comments prior to the close of the public review and comment period on 11:59 pm MT on January 5, 2021 via the methods below:

The Council will review comments received before the close of the public comment and review period and release a response to the public comments received. The Council is scheduled to vote on the draft FPL 3b in early 2021.

Resources: Draft FPL 3b

2017 FPL: Comprehensive Plan Commitment and Planning Support Amendment- June 17, 2020 - 11:59 pm (CST) July 2, 2020

The Council amended its 2017 Funded Priorities List: Comprehensive Plan Commitment and Planning Support (2017 CPS FPL) to provide staffing for the maintenance of the Gulf of Mexico Long-Term Monitoring Network Inventory (Monitoring Inventory) database and web services. This inventory was developed as part of the Council Monitoring and Assessment Program funded under the Council’s 2015 Initial Funded Priorities List, and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (DOC/NOAA). Before voting on whether to approve funding, the Council published this FPL amendment for a 15-day public comment period beginning on June 17, 2020 and concluding at 11:59 pm (CST) on July 2, 2020. All comments were accepted via email. As a result of the public comment period, the Council staff has released the Response to Comments, which includes all comments received. 

Resources: 2017 CPS FPL Amendment

Alabama Comprehensive Living Shoreline Monitoring Programs (Implementation)- April 22, 2020 - 11:59 pm (CST) May 6, 2020

The Council amended its 2015 Funded Priorities List (Initial FPL) to approve implementation funding for the Alabama Comprehensive Living Shoreline Monitoring (AL CLSM) program, sponsored by the state of Alabama. The Council approved $3,975,000 to implement a 5-year living shoreline monitoring program to monitor and evaluate the success of living shoreline restoration sites in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Before voting on whether to approve funding, the Council published this FPL amendment for a 15-day public comment period beginning on April 22, 2020 and concluding at 11:59 pm (CST) on May 6, 2020. All comments were accepted via email. As a result of the public comment period, the Council staff has released the Response to Comments, which contains all comments received. 

Resources: AL CLSM Amendment and AL CLSM Environmental Compliance

Gulf of Mexico Habitat Restoration via Conservation Corps Partnerships- January 15, 2020 - 11:59 pm (CST) February 14, 2020

The Council amended its 2015 Initial Funded Priorities List (2015 FPL) to approve additional time and funding for the Gulf Coast Conservation Corps (GCCC) Program. This funding provides for a short-term extension of the GCCC Program while the Council considers longer-term funding through inclusion in its next FPL, known as FPL 3b. This program is sponsored by U.S. Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (DOC/NOAA) and U.S. Department of the Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs (DOI/BIA). 

Before voting on whether to approve funding, the Council published the proposed 2015 FPL amendment Gulf of Mexico Habitat Restoration via Conservation Corps Partnerships for a 30-day public review and comment period beginning on January 15, 2020, and concluding at 11:59 CST on February 14, 2020. Comments were accepted via email and U.S. mail and are captured in the Response to Public Comments.

Resource: GCCC Amendment, GCCC Background and GCCC Environmental Compliance

Gulf of Mexico Conservation Enhancement Grant Program- December 23, 2019 - 11:59 pm (CST) January 20, 2020

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) amended its 2015 Funded Priorities List (Initial FPL) to approve implementation funding for the Gulf of Mexico Conservation Enhancement Grant Program (GMCEGP), which is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Specifically, the Council proposed to approve $2.5M to support implementation of eight ecosystem conservation and enhancement projects identified by EPA as eligible for funding under the GMCEGP. This public notice was originally issued on December 23, 2019, for a seven day public comment period. In response to public requests for additional time, the Council granted additional time for this public comment period which concluded at 11:59 pm (CST) on January 20, 2020. Comments were accepted via U. S. mail and email.

Resources: GMCEGP Amended FPL Appendix and GMCEGP Background with public comments

Draft Funded Priorities List (FPL) 3a- December 9, 2019 - January 10, 2020

In October 2019, the Council solicited two large-scale proposals for potential funding under Bucket 2 in the first phase of the Council’s Draft Funded Priority List 3, referred to as Draft FPL 3a. The two large-scale proposals under consideration in Draft FPL 3a were the River Reintroduction into the Maurepas Swamp in Louisiana, and conservation of critical coastal habitat in the Perdido watershed in Alabama. This proposed phase adhered to the FPL development processes committed to by the Council, particularly as they related to the use of the best available science (BAS), public engagement and transparency, and the Council’s recently finalized Planning Framework. When developing the second phase, FPL 3b, the Council will also follow the same process as it considers proposals that address ecosystem needs in Texas, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama, along with regional and Gulfwide proposals.

In order to give the public additional opportunities to learn about the Draft FPL 3a, ask questions, and provide comments, the RESTORE Council hosted two live public webinars and public meetings in Louisiana and Alabama during the public comment period. In addition to accepting comments at public meetings, the RESTORE Council accepted comments prior to the close of the public review and comment period on 11:59 pm MST on January 10, 2020 via U.S. mail, email and online via the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment site. 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 RESTORE Council will vote on approving the final in February 2020. 

Planning Framework

On April 26, 2019, the RESTORE Council staff began a 45-day public review and comment period on the Planning Framework draft. The RESTORE Council provided a 7-day extension for the 45-day public review and comment period, extending the deadline for submitting public comments on the Planning Framework draft to 11:59 MDT on June 19, 2019. 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 these webinars 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.

  • April 30, 2019 - 5 Rivers Tensaw Theater, 30945 Five Rivers Blvd, Spanish Fort, AL 36527 6:00 pm
  • May 6, 2019- Convocation Center Annex- Room 111, 7800 Washington Ave., New Orleans, LA 70125 6:00 pm
  • May 7, 2019 - Department of Environmental Protection Douglas Building (Conference room A & B),
                             3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399
  • May 22, 2019 - University of Southern Mississippi Long Beach, Fleming Education Center Auditorium,
                             730 Beach Blvd E., Long Beach, MS 39560
  • May 30, 2019 - Texas A&M College, Harte Research Institute (Building 1), Room 127, 6300 Ocean Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78412

In addition to accepting comments at public meetings, the RESTORE Council accepted comments prior to the close of the public review and comment period on 11:59 pm MDT on June 19, 2019 via U.S. mail, email and online via the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment site.

The Council released the RESTORE Council Planning Framework: Responses to Comments which included a summary of the 446 unique public comments received from 2,932 stakeholders and responses to those comments. The Council has incorporated public input into the draft version to result in finalizing the Planning Framework.

2016 Comprehensive Plan Update: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy: August 23, 2016- October 7, 2016

On August 23, 2016 the RESTORE Council released the Draft 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy (Draft 2016 Comp Plan Update), the proposed update to its 2013 Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy (Initial Comp Plan). The RESTORE Council hosted a series of public meetings across the Gulf Coast and two public webinars to discuss the Draft 2016 Comp Plan Update: Summaries of public meetings to discuss the draft Comprehensive Plan Update and seek public input:

The RESTORE Council reviewed the public comments and released the Response to Public Comments on the Draft 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update.

Spill Impact Component: September 29, 2015 - October 29, 2015

The Council published the draft Spill Impact Component regulation “rule” in the Federal Register for a 30- day public comment period. The Council received eleven written comments addressing the draft rule from Gulf Stakeholders and published the Response to Public Comments on Draft Spill Impact Component Regulation. On December 9, 2015, the RESTORE Council voted to approve the Spill Impact Component Final Regulation. (Vietnamese Translation)

Draft Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast's Ecosystem and Economy: May 23, 2013- July 8, 2013

On May 23, 2013, the RESTORE Council published the Draft Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy and Appendix A: Preliminary List of Authorized by Not Yet Commenced Projects and Programs. Initially the comment period was for 30 days, but after numerous requests to extend the public comment period were received, the public comment deadline was extended to July 8, 2013. Comments were received via the following methods:

After the Council reviewed the comments above, the Response to Comments was published.

Draft Initial Funded Priorities List (2015): August 13, 2015- September 28, 2015

On August 13, 2015 the RESTORE Council released a draft Initial Funded Priorities List (draft FPL) for a 45 day public comment period. The RESTORE Council hosted a series of public meetings across the Gulf Coast to discuss the draft FPL and seek public and tribal comments. The meeting presentations and summaries are available below:

The RESTORE Council reviewed the public comments and released a Response to Public Comments on Draft Initial Funded Priorities List. On December 1, 2015, the RESTORE Council release the Draft Funded Priorities List which was scheduled for a RESTORE Council vote on during a December 9, 2015 public meeting. Learn more about the Draft Funded Priorities List projects and programs.  

Summary of Public Input:  2010-2013

Years of dedicated public engagement on the part of State and federal Council members, in a variety of forums, yielded a wealth of information. This information supported the development of the ecosystem restoration goals and objectives outlined in the Initial Comprehensive Plan and have shaped the work of the Council. In an effort to ensure that public input provided to the Council and its predecessor, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, over the past four years was considered as the Council began project evaluation and selection activities, the Council summarized public input regarding restoration in a Summary of Public Input: 2010-2013.