The State of Texas has unveiled restorethetexascoast.org, a dedicated online resource for Deepwater Horizon oil spill recovery efforts.
Restorethetexascoast.org features links and background information on the three funding sources available, RESTORE (Resources & Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States), NFWF/GEBP (Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund) and NRDA (Natural Resource Damage Assessment). The site also includes details associated with the state’s efforts to implement the RESTORE Act in Texas. Use of these funds will facilitate efforts to sustain a coordinated and integrated approach to appropriately respond to various coastal needs, both environmentally and economically.
With passage of the federal RESTORE Act, funds will be made available to the five Gulf States, including Texas, from civil and administrative penalties assessed against responsible parties associated with the one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history.
“Texas’s biological and economic resources are vital to both the health of the Gulf and our nation. Texas will utilize RESTORE Act funds on coastal restoration and economic revitalization, which will provide benefits not only in Texas, but across the Gulf Coast region and beyond,” says Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner and Chair of the Texas RESTORE Act Advisory Board, Toby Baker.
Plans are also underway for Commissioner Baker to hold four listening sessions later this year (in Corpus Christi, Galveston, South Padre Island and Beaumont), where participants can provide information on projects they want funded.
“Although the spill was unquestionably terribly unfortunate, the funding stemming from it now represents a critical opportunity to invest in the well-being and future of the Texas coast,” said Carter Smith, executive director of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, one of the trustee agencies overseeing the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment. “We are committed to identifying the best possible coastal projects for funding, and this website will help people stay informed and involved.”
“As a coastal fisherman myself, I’m excited to see this website go live,” said Texas General Land Office Chief Clerk and Deputy Land Commissioner, Larry Laine,. “Restorethetexascoast.org will be a quick, easy way for anyone to propose a coastal project for funding from Texas’s Deepwater Horizon money. These projects will be a big step in restoring the Gulf and its system of bays and estuaries and in restoring the economy of the coastal communities.”