Input Sought for Habitat and Water Quality Restoration Proposals

Solicitation of Input to State of Mississippi
in support of Mississippi’s 1st round of Bucket 2 Proposals to the RESTORE Council

for projects and programs addressing
 Habitat Conservation/Restoration or Water Quality Restoration

to be funded under the Council-Selected Ecosystem Restoration and Protection Component

of the RESTORE Act as guided by the initial Comprehensive Plan


The State of Mississippi is soliciting ideas from potential partners and the public in support of its efforts to develop four competitive proposals to the RESTORE Council for projects related to restoring and conserving habitats and restoring water quality following the 2010 oil spill.

What four proposals is MS developing for the 1st round of Bucket 2 funding (by 11/17/14)?

  1. Land Protection and Conservation Program Proposal
  • land conservation and protection through fee-simple and easements
  • establish a Gulf Lands priority framework based on existing knowledge
  • establish a conservation easement program for ag and forestry lands
  • rigorous monitoring of status and trends of habitat programs, existing information and connectivity of lands protected
  • education and outreach associated with land protection and conservation
  • INPUT NEEDED: criteria for prioritization; monitoring ideas; education/outreach ideas
  1. Establishing a Voluntary Conservation Enrollment Program
  • based on two premises: 1) not enough $$ to buy all the land; 2) hurdles to land donation
  • pay for diligence costs (up to a certain level) associated with conservation enrollment
  • pay for endowment support for easement holder for inspection and monitoring of easements (up to a certain level)
  • INPUT NEEDED: max. amounts for due diligence & monitoring support; monitoring ideas
  1. Enhancing the Opportunities for Beneficial Use (BU) of Dredge Sediments
  • several hurdles to the BU of dredge sediments: site availability; material availability
  • provide for engineering and design of habitat to be created, prioritization of sites, permitting around sites to be constructed.
  • Get sites construction-ready for habitat creation and restoration.
  • INPUT NEEDED: criteria for which habitats; monitoring considerations
  1. The Mississippi Sound Estuarine Program
  • Stand up program to help ensure sustainable coastal restoration for the future
  • A coordinated program for research, policy, community engagement
  • INPUT NEEDED: What should the MS Estuarine Program look like? Coordinating partners?


How can UM folks submit ideas to the State of MS in support of 1st round Bucket 2 proposals?

E-mail ideas directly to well before 11/17/14, and please CC Jason Hale ( We (ORSP) suggest that you limit your ideas to 2,500 characters or less, and include: objective(s), activities, outcomes, evaluation metrics, and estimated costs.  For more information on Mississippi’s process, view the October 16 webinar materials at


About the RESTORE Act, the RESTORE Council, and the Trust Fund,
and about the Council’s and Mississippi’s Processes for Administering Funds

What is the RESTORE Act? The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act is a law passed in April 2012 establishing a fund for programs, projects, and activities to restore and protect the economy of the Gulf Coast region following the 2010 oil spill. See for details.

What is the RESTORE Council?
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council was established by the RESTORE Act to develop a restoration plan and administer a portion of the Trust Fund to implement the plan. See RESTORE Council Website: The RESTORE Council is made up of 11 members:

  • Governors from the five (5) affected Gulf States
  • Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency
  • Secretaries Commerce (Chair), Agriculture, Army, Homeland Security, & Interior

What is the Comprehensive Plan? An Initial plan created by the RESTORE Council

  • Purposes of the Comprehensive Plan:
    • Establish overarching restoration goals/objectives for Gulf Coast
    • Describe process for funding ecosystems restoration projects/programs
    • Describe process for approving State Expenditure Plans
  • Goals and Objectives of Comprehensive Plan:
    • Restore and Conserve Habitat
    • Restore Water Quality
    • Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources
    • Enhance Community Resilience
    • Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy

What is the Trust Fund?

The Gulf Restoration Trust Fund: Established by the RESTORE Council, under the RESTORE Act

  • The full amount to be paid into the Trust Fund is yet unknown, pending ongoing litigation
  • Provides for five buckets/components of funding
    1. 35% distributed equally to the 5 states for ecological/economic restoration
    2. 30% for ecosystem restoration and protection
      (Council-Selected Restoration Component)
    3. 30% to be distributed to the 5 Gulf States (AL, FL, LA, MS, TX).
      Spill Impact Component, based on formula in the RESTORE Act, to be spent on projects according to State Expenditure Plans (Spill Impact Component)
      • Mississippi’s State Expenditure Plan is still under development.
    4. 2.5% for Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observation, Monitoring, and Technology Program
    5. 2.5% for a Centers of Excellence program in each if the five states
  • RESTORE Council will manage funding process for buckets 2 and 3.

What is the RESTORE Council’s Process for Funding under Bucket 2: Restoration & Protection?

  • RESTORE Council will solicit project/program proposals from its members. Only the 11 members may submit proposals to the RESTORE Council
  • A call has been made for a 1st round of proposals, which are due to RESTORE Council on November 17, 2014.
  • Proposals will be vetted for eligibility, budget reasonableness, and level of coordination with other council members
  • The 1st round of project proposals should focus on habitat or water quality goals:
    • Restore and Conserve Habitat; or,
    • Restore Water Quality
  • Proposals will be evaluated based on science, priority and commitment to plan evaluation, and environmental compliance readiness
  • Each proposal and its review documents will be posted online for public access
  • A Round 1 Funded Priorities List (FPL) will be created based on the best proposals
    • Initial FPL will be published for public review and comment
  • $150-$180M of FPL projects will be funded in Round 1
  • Future Amendments to the FPL will include more/larger projects that reflect the full amount available to be spent for restoration activities

Mississippi’s Processes

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is coordinating Mississippi’s processes for assembling potential ideas for projects, programs, and activities to be undertaken with funds made available from penalties and other sources. UM personnel interested in learning more about Mississippi-relevant past, current, and future activities and opportunities related to the RESTORE Act are encouraged to visit and subscribe to the mailing lists and social media information feeds found there.

Mississippi’s Process for 1st round, Bucket 2 proposals

MDEQ is coordinating the proposal development and submission process, including gathering input from stakeholders via e-mail to, as summarized earlier in this announcement, and detailed in the Oct. 16 Webinars that may be accessed at

Mississippi’s Process for gathering general ideas for future Restore Act funding

Anyone may submit and edit Restoration Project Ideas online at, as well as view proposals that have been submitted by others. Those ideas will be entered into the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)’s publicly-accessible database, and will be evaluated by MDEQ for consideration under all future Mississippi-controlled or requested funding, from all sources, including RESTORE, Natural Resource Damage Assessment, (NRDA) and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Submission of a project idea does not guarantee that it will be selected by MDEQ for funding and/or implementation. Guidelines for submission Restoration Project Ideas are available at  

All UM personnel submitting Restoration Project Ideas involving the University of Mississippi must e-mail a copy of the submitted idea (all components) to Jason Hale ( in the Office of the VCRSP.