The RESTORE Act of 2012
Levy County, Florida
The 2010 Gulf oil disaster was the latest assault on the region’s ecosystems after years of degradation from human impacts and natural disasters. The continued environmental deterioration of the Gulf Coast poses a growing threat to ecosystems that support not only the regional communities and cultures, but also our nation’s most critical energy, shipping, tourism, commercial seafood and other industries.
In the summer of 2012 the Senate and House passed legislation and, on July 6, 2012, the President signed into law the Federal Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act), which holds the parties responsible for the Gulf oil disaster accountable for restoring the Gulf. By investing fines owed by BP and the other parties responsible for the Gulf oil spill into the Gulf region, we can start to heal the economies, the environments and the communities that depend on a healthy Gulf.
The RESTORE Act created a specific funding allocation to the effected states and, in particular, a specific designation to the counties effected in Florida. Levy County has been authorized as one of 23 Florida counties to receive and apply for funds related to civil and administrative penalties imposed under the federal Clean Water Act and paid by responsible parties for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In response, the Levy County Board of County Commissioners has formed a local citizen’s advisory board, the Levy County RESTORE Act Committee. A portion of the penalties under the RESTORE Act will come directly to Levy County (Local Pot 1) and other portions may be available for projects that may affect the County through the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Federal Council Pot 2) and through the Gulf Coast Consortium (State Consortium Pot 3).
The Board of County Commissioners of Levy County created and appointed the Levy County RESTORE Act Advisory Committee, Chaired by District 4 County Commissioner Ryan Bell, to assist the Board on RESTORE Act issues by reviewing applications for Local Pot 1 RESTORE Act projects, conducting public meetings to obtain citizen input, advising the Board on projects, monitoring Local Pot 1 projects that may be approved for funding, and assisting in the development of a multiyear plan for the County’s use of RESTORE Act funds. The funding protocol and specific utilization of these funds is dictated under Federal Law and is based in environmental and economic restoration, sustainability, and resilience.
The RESTORE Act Committee meets monthly or as needed at the Levy County Courthouse, County Commissioners' Meeting Room located at 355 South Court Street in Bronson, Florida or at other locations in Levy County. All meeting notices will be posted below see Notice of Meetings link. The Levy County RESTORE Act Advisory Committee wishes to invite all interested stakeholders and citizens to participate.
What Types of Projects Qualify?
Projects must meet the following criteria to be eligible for funding, per RESTORE Act legislation:
• Restoration and protection of natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region.
• Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife, and natural resources
• Implementation of a federally approved marine, coastal or comprehensive conservation management plan, including fisheries monitoring
• Workforce development and job creation
• Improvements to state parks in coastal areas affected by Deepwater Horizon spill
• Infrastructure projects benefiting economy or ecological resources, including ports
• Coastal flood protection and related infrastructure
• Planning assistance
• Promotion of tourism, including recreational fishing
• Promotion of consumption of seafood harvested from the Gulf Coast region
(Note: US Treasury rules, when they are promulgated, may impose additional criteria, details, and clarifications.)
For more information on submitting a project directly to DEP for POT 2 Funding, please click here
For more information on a personal or business BP Oil Spill Claim, please click here
Other sites to visit for additional information
Levy County RESTORE Act Advisory Committee
The RESTORE Act Advisory Committee (RAC) consists of 9 members appointed by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC):
Christ Cowart, School Board Representative, Chairman
John Meeks, Board of County Commissioners, Vice-Chairman
David Pieklik, Economic Development Representative
Dr. Rayanne Giddis- Higher Education Institution Representative
Leslie Sturmer, Aquaculture Representative
Dennis Voyles-Tourism Industry Representative
Jolie Davis, Citizen Representative
Jack Schofield, Citizen Representative
Dr. Richard Streeter, Citizen Representative
Members are appointed for 1 year (first four members) or two years (last five members) for the first term and for two years following that so that memberships are staggered. All members are eligible for reappointment.