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Following the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, the state of Florida implemented response operations and emergency restoration. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are the lead state agencies in Florida for responding to impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the resulting restoration process.

Latest Updates

NOTICE OF CANCELLATION OF PHASE III EARLY RESTORATION PROJECT – GULF BREEZE BOAT RAMP
The Gulf Breeze Wayside Park Boat Ramp was selected by the Trustees for implementation in third phase of early restoration. The project included needed repairs to the existing Gulf Breeze Wayside Park public boat ramp and seawall cap, construction of a public restroom facility, and repair and enhancement of the parking area for improved access. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection was allocated $309,699 to implement the project.

In May 2015, the Florida Department of Transportation received approval from the Federal Highway Administration to design and construct a new Pensacola Bay Bridge. The Gulf Breeze Wayside Park is located at the base of the proposed new bridge. The construction is slated to begin in 2017 and will take at least four years. During construction, the existing park and boat ramp will be closed to the public.

At a meeting on November 3, 2016, the Florida Trustee Implementation Group considered the impacts of the construction of the Pensacola Bay Bridge on the Gulf Breeze Boat Ramp Project. We determined that the Gulf Breeze Boat Ramp project is not viable during bridge construction and elected not to implement it at this time.

This decision does not preclude the Florida TIG from considering to fund the project once the construction of the Pensacola Bay Bridge is completed.

Changes to the Pensacola Bay Living Shoreline Project

The Florida Trustee Implementation Group is making some changes to the Pensacola Bay Living Shoreline project. This project was selected during the third phase of early restoration for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The project will use living shoreline techniques that rely on natural and artificial breakwater material to reduce shoreline erosion and create habitat. The project was going to be implemented at two locations in Pensacola Bay. After receiving feedback from the community, we have decided to proceed with the project only at the Project GreenShores Site II location.

We are evaluating design options to maximize the acres of marsh and oyster reef habitat created at the Project GreenShores site. We will continue to seek community input as we proceed with project design.


RESTORE Council Comprehensive Plan Update Vote: December 16, 2016
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) will meet to vote on the Comprehensive Plan Update.

When: Friday, December 16, 2016
Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel
             Celestin Ballroom Section E (3rd Floor)
             601 Loyola Avenue
             New Orleans, LA, 70113
Time: 9:00 a.m. CST
 

The public is invited to attend and will have the opportunity to offer informal comments pertaining to future council actions. The final agenda will be provided in advance of this meeting.

Pre-registration for Council Meeting
To pre-register for the meeting please click on the registration link above. Please note: By selecting the “Pre-registration for Council Meeting” link, you will be transferred to a non-governmental website. Pre-registration for the meeting is open until Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Onsite registration will also be available on the day of the meeting (December 16, 2016) from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

The meeting space is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation and related accommodations should be indicated during pre-registration on or before Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. For requests received after December 1, 2016, every effort will be made to provide the requested accommodations, although we cannot guarantee these services will be available.

This meeting may be recorded and posted on www.restorethegulf.gov.  For more information about the upcoming meeting, please contact keala.hughes@restorethegulf.gov

Project Ideas Requested for Restoration in Florida
The Florida Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) is inviting the public to submit project ideas for restoration in Florida.

We are accepting ideas for the following restoration types described below:

  • Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands (Programmatic Restoration Plan Sections 5.5.3, 5.D.1): focuses on the many habitats that were injured on lands managed by federal agencies, which could include restoration of wetlands, dunes and beaches, oyster reefs, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation, and barrier islands. This Restoration Type will be accomplished through restoration of the priority habitats of a federal property as prescribed by existing land management plans.
  • Nutrient Reduction (Programmatic Restoration Plan Sections 5.5.4, 5.D.1.1, 5.D.1.7, 5.D.2): a variety of conservation practices could be implemented to reduce nutrient loadings and sediments from agricultural lands along the Gulf Coast. Additional restoration techniques, such as stormwater management practices, forestry management practices, creation and enhancement of wetlands, hydrologic restoration, and coastal and riparian conservation, could also be used to mitigate nutrient pollution.
  • Water Quality (Programmatic Restoration Plan Sections 5.5.5, 5.D.1.1, 5.D.1.7, 5.D.2): uses a range of approaches to reduce pollutants, nutrients, and pathogens being discharged to coastal watersheds and improve hydrology to enhance ecosystem services and recreational use along the Florida coast. Restoration approaches to reduce pollution and hydrologic degradation; reduce nutrient loads; create, restore, and enhance coastal wetlands; and protect and conserve marine, coastal, estuarine, and riparian habitats could be used to restore water quality in coastal watersheds.
  • Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities (Programmatic Restoration Plan Sections 5.5.14, 5.D.8): provides recreational opportunities through infrastructure, access and education. Given the important link between healthy natural resources and recreation, restoring habitats and improving water quality will also provide human use benefits.

Additional information about these restoration types is available in Chapter 5 of the programmatic restoration plan. In particular, please refer to Chapter 5 sections 5.5.3 – 5.5.5, and 5.5.14 and Appendix D sections 5.D.1, 5.D.2, and 5.D.8 for guidance on our goals, restoration strategies, and implementation considerations for each of these restoration types.

Project ideas will be evaluated for their ability to meet the goals of the programmatic restoration plan and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. We may choose to focus on a subset of these restoration types as planning progresses. In addition, we may apply the following additional criteria to evaluate proposed ideas:

  • Restoration projects will seek to leverage other restoration projects and activities, including, but not limited to, Deepwater Horizon Early Restoration, RESTORE Act and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.
  • Projects for the Habitat on Federally Managed Lands restoration type will seek to address habitat injuries at Gulf Islands National Seashore and St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge.

You may submit a new project idea or a revision of a previously submitted project idea through the Gulf Spill Restoration portal or the Deepwater Horizon Florida portal. We will also consider projects that pertain to multiple restoration types or that will be implemented in phases—these submittals should include information about all project phases. The Florida TIG may also develop restoration projects for consideration.

Project ideas submitted by December 5, 2016 will be considered in development of the Florida TIG’s initial restoration plan. Previously submitted project ideas will also be considered. Project ideas submitted after the deadline will be considered in future planning. The initial planning period is anticipated to cover the first two to three years of settlement funding for the specified restoration types.

This notice is issued on behalf of the Florida TIG, which consists of the following state and federal trustees: the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the U.S. Departmental of the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

We look forward to receiving and considering your ideas.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact us at Heather.Thomas@dep.state.fl.us.

 

Society for Ecological Restoration Southeastern Chapter and UF/IFAS (SE-SER) Annual Symposium
On October 18-21, 2016, Gulf restoration staff led a session at the SE-SER Annual Symposium at the University of Florida/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, Florida. The session was entitled “Restoring Natural Resources Damaged by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill” and familiarized the audience with the details of the comprehensive, integrated ecosystem approach to Gulf restoration that will unfold over the next few decades, including an overview of the Programmatic Restoration Plan and the allocation of funds available across multiple resource types. Although there was a particular emphasis on the details as they pertain to Florida, attendees from around the Gulf region were able to gain a better grasp of the DWH Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) restoration paradigm and the goals for this restoration. Audience members left with an understanding of what restoration activities may be undertaken in the future and what opportunities exist to participate in the process, including how to propose restoration ideas to the relevant decision-makers. The session had the following presenters:

  • Amy Raker-FWC, Introductory remarks and overview of DWH oil spill
  • Laurie Rounds-NOAA, Overview of the NRDA and Programmatic Restoration Plan
  • An Ecosystem Approach to Restoration in Florida:
    • Katie Konchar-FWC, Nearshore and Coastal Habitats
    • Lisa Robertson-FDEP, Water Quality
    • Ben Frater-DOI, Coastal and Marine Species
  • Nadia Martin-Industrial Economics, Monitoring, Adaptive Management, and Unknown Conditions
  • All, FAQs
Session slides (PDF)

Handout 1: Web Resources/Acronyms
Handout 2: Oil Spill Funds in Florida

Man and boy fishing

 

Trustee Council Public Meeting
The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council will hold a public meeting on September 28, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. During this meeting, updates will be presented on the work of the Trustee Council and each Trustee Implementation Group (TIG): Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Open Ocean, and Region-wide.

  • Date: September 28, 2016
  • Location: Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette French Quarter Area Hotel, Storyville Room
    817 Common St.
    New Orleans, LA 70112
    Time: 5:30 – 6:30 PM Open house for discussion and questions
              6:30 – 9:00 PM Public meeting for presentation and public comment

During the open house, staff will be available for discussions and questions. If you are unable to attend the public meeting, you will be able to view the meeting presentation and transcript on the Trustees’ website soon after the meeting concludes.

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Releases Draft 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) released a proposed update to its 2013 Comprehensive Plan. The draft provides important additional strategic guidance for the Council to follow as it makes decisions on funding projects and activities aimed at restoring the Gulf of Mexico.

The draft Comprehensive Plan Update is intended to improve Council decisions by:

  • Reinforcing the Council’s goals and objectives;
  • Setting forth an initial Ten-Year Funding Strategy;
  • Establishing the Council’s vision for Gulf restoration;
  • Increasing collaboration among Council members and partner restoration programs;
  • Providing for advancement of large-scale projects and programs;
  • Refining the process for ensuring that the Council’s decisions are informed by the best available science; and
  • Improving the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of Council actions.

The Council is updating its Initial Comprehensive Plan now in order to take into account recent developments in Gulf restoration such as the resolution of civil claims against BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a source of future funding for the Council’s projects. The update also captures important public input and lessons learned from the process of developing and approving its initial Funded Priorities List (FPL), its first slate of restoration activities to be funded through the RESTORE Act, and positions the Council to make the most effective use of future funds as they become available beginning in 2017.

Public comments on the draft Comprehensive Plan Update will be accepted from August 23, 2016 to October 7, 2016.

Webinars and a public meeting in Florida will be held to discuss the draft Comprehensive Plan Update and seek public input:

  • Sept. 8, 2016 - Webinar
    5:00 p.m. CST
    Register at: www.RestoreTheGulf.gov
  • Sept. 12, 2016 - Gulf Coast State College
    6:00 p.m. CST Language & Literature Building, Room 38
    5230 West US Hwy. 98
    Panama City, FL, 32401
  • Oct. 4, 2016 - Webinar
    2:00 p.m. CST
    Register at: www.RestoreTheGulf.gov

In additional to providing comments in person at the public meeting or via webinar, there are three other options available to Gulf stakeholders:

  • Online at: www.RestoreTheGulf.gov
  • By mail to: Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council,
    Attention: Draft Comprehensive Plan Update Comments,
    Hale Boggs Federal Building,
    500 Poydras Street, Suite 1117,
     New Orleans, LA 70130; and
  • By e-mail to frcomments@restorethegulf.gov.
    Full meeting details and the draft Comprehensive Plan Update 2016 can be found on the Council’s website at www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.

 

Public Webinar on the Florida Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) Draft Restoration Strategy
The FWC and DEP conducted a webinar to present the Florida GEBF Draft Restoration Strategy on September 14, 2016. The Restoration Strategy is a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funded science-based restoration planning effort coordinated by FWC and DEP with technical assistance from water management districts and FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. It will serve as a framework for the development and implementation of projects under GEBF to restore and conserve Florida’s Gulf Coast natural resources. For more information, please go to http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/gebf.htm.

View webinar slides

 

Public Webinar on Restoration in Florida

Perdido RiverThe Restoration in Florida webinar was held on August 25, 2016 from 1:00-2:30pm EST.

The webinar introduced the Florida Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) and discussed Deepwater Horizon restoration planning. An overview of the settlement as well as early and initial restoration planning processes were provided. A public comment period will remain open until Sept. 9, 2016, to elicit feedback on the future implementation of projects and restoration areas. To submit public comment or feedback, contact Heather.Thomas@dep.state.fl.us.

On April 4, 2016, a federal court approved a legal settlement between BP Exploration & Production Inc., and the federal government and the five Gulf Coast states. The settlement included $8.8 billion for natural resource damages and the TIGs were formed. The Florida TIG is composed of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The TIGs will develop restoration projects and plans to accomplish Gulf restoration. Development of these projects is guided by the programmatic restoration plan.

Efforts in the Florida Restoration Area will focus on the restoration of natural resources, such as water quality and habitat, as well as replenishing and protecting wildlife populations such as sea turtles, dolphins, birds and oysters. Recreational opportunities will be provided and habitats on federal lands will be restored.

The TIG will develop project-specific restoration plans that are consistent with the resource allocations laid out in the programmatic restoration plan. As part of this process, the public can submit restoration project ideas, and review and comment on proposed project-specific plans for the Florida Restoration Area. Once approved, implementation and monitoring of the selected projects will begin.

View webinar slides

View webinar video

Community Provides Feedback on the Pensacola Bay Living Shoreline Project
On July 18, 2016, DEP and NOAA held a community workshop on the Pensacola Bay Living Shoreline Project. Community review on the initial project design presented was solicited during the workshop. The initial design provides preliminary layouts at two sites, Project GreenShores Site II and Sanders Beach. Many members of the Pensacola community attended the workshop and provided feedback on the proposed project sites, goals, and design layouts. Feedback received during the workshop and stakeholder engagement is being reviewed and will continue throughout development of the project.
 

Meeting Information
Information that was provided during the meeting can be accessed by following the links below.

What are living shorelines?
The Pensacola Bay Living Shoreline Project builds upon and continues Project GreenShores to create a living shoreline along the City of Pensacola waterfront. Project GreenShores is an award-winning habitat restoration and creation effort along the urban shoreline of Pensacola Bay.

Living shorelines are made of natural materials such as plants, sand, or rock. They are a natural alternative to “hard” shoreline stabilization methods like bulkheads. Benefits of living shorelines include:

  • Protect shorelines from erosion and storms
  • Provide habitat for fish and other wildlife
  • Improve water quality and store nutrients
  • Increase shoreline stability over time

Deepwater Horizon Trustees Settle with BP for Natural Resource Injuries to the Gulf of Mexico

Nearly six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred the court has approved a settlement with BP for natural resource injuries stemming from the spill. This settlement concludes the largest natural resource damage assessment ever undertaken. Implementation of restoration as laid out in the Trustees’ comprehensive restoration plan will now begin.

Under the settlement, BP will pay the Trustees up to $8.8 billion for restoration to address natural resource injuries. This settlement is the largest in history for a natural resource damage assessment which includes:

  • $1 billion already committed during early restoration
  • $7.1 billion for restoration over 15-plus years
  • Up to an additional $700 million to respond to natural resource damages unknown at the time of the agreement and/or to provide for adaptive management
  • The state of Florida will receive $680 million

This settlement is a momentous step towards restoring the resources of the Gulf of Mexico and bringing an unprecedented amount of funding which will be dedicated to this iconic ecosystem.

An ecosystem approach was performed to assess the natural resources that were negatively impacted by the spill. The assessment shaped the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, which was finalized in February 2016. The plan identifies the types of restoration needed to compensate the public for negative impacts. More than 6,300 public comments were considered when finalizing the plan.

Last month, a final decision was made to select the comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem restoration alternative laid out in the final plan as the approach for restoration implementation. The decision has been approved by the court, and the case is settled. Restoration as laid out in the final plan can now begin. Solicitation of input from the public will continue as project-specific restoration plans are developed.

Trustees Finalize Fifth Phase of Early Restoration
The Trustees have finalized a plan for the fifth phase of early restoration for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The first phase of the Florida Coastal Access Project has an approximate cost of $34.4 million. It will enhance public access to natural resources and increase recreational opportunities at four sites in the Florida Panhandle.

The four sites include:

  • Innerarity Point in Escambia County, Florida which will involve acquisition of a 3.38-acre property and the building of a public park on the property.
  • A parcel in the City of Destin, Florida which will involve acquisition of a 3.42-acre parcel and the building of a public park on the property.
  • A parcel in the City of Lynn Haven, Florida which will involve acquisition of a 90.7-acre tract, and building a public park on the property.
  • Island View Park in Franklin County which will involve construction of a public park on a 7.3-acre parcel owned by Franklin County.
Infrastructure will be constructed at each location to facilitate and enhance recreational use. This could include pathways, boardwalks and docks with kayak launches, trails, and picnic areas, and other improvements.
 

This project is described in the Phase V Early Restoration Plan, which incorporates public comments that were received on the draft plan released last year.


Consent Decree - On July 2, 2015 an agreement in principle was announced in which BP Exploration & Production Inc. (BP) will pay a total of $18.732 billion for Clean Water Act civil penalties, natural resource damage claims, and economic claims related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The state of Florida will receive at least $3.252 billion.

The Draft Consent Decree between the Federal government, the five Gulf Coast States, and BP details what BP must do to resolve the claims filed against it by the Federal government, and the Gulf Coast States, for the company’s role in the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. The Draft Consent Decree was lodged on October 5, 2015 with the U.S. District Court in New Orleans.

• The Draft Consent Decree is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html


RESTORE Act Draft Funded Priorities List (FPL) released – On August 13, 2015 the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) released the Draft FPL. This draft FPL would fund approximately $139.6 million in restoration activities such as hydrologic restoration, land conservation, and planning for large-scale restoration projects. Additionally, the Council is reserving approximately $43.6 million for implementation of future activities, subject to further Council review. The state of Florida would receive approximately $38 million in project funding, which includes $18 million in Florida sponsored projects and $20 million in other Council Member sponsored projects.

Public meetings were held in St. Petersburg on August 26, 2015 and in Panama City on August 27, 2015. The Council received public input and is considering all public comments before finalizing the FPL.


Deepwater Horizon SettlementOn July 2, 2015 an agreement in principle was announced that BP will pay a total of $18.732 billion, which is broken down between Clean Water Act penalties, natural resource damage claims, and economic claims, across the Gulf States. The state of Florida will receive at least $3.25 billion. Please see links below for more information

  • oil spill thumbnail imageFive years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, DEP and FWC created an interactive infographic highlighting recovery efforts. Click any of the facts for additional information.

  • NRDA— Phase IV Early Restoration projects: The NRDA Trustees have selected and approved the 10 early restoration projects in the Deepwater Horizon NRDA Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments. The 10 projects have a combined estimated cost of $134 million and will benefit sea turtles, birds, and fish; increase recreational opportunities; and improve nearshore and reef habitats. Read more here
  • Information for Vendors: Vendors should register with the state’s Vendor Bid System (VBS) through the Department of Management Services. Go to http://www.myfloridamarketplace.com and follow the prompts and directions provided. Once registered they can view requests for services and bids for any state project 24/7. Different state agencies in Florida will manage the projects on a case-by-case basis.
  • RESTORE – On August 13, 2015 the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) released a draft of its initial Funded Priority List (FPL). This draft FPL would fund approximately $139.6 million in restoration activities such as hydrologic restoration, land conservation, and planning for large-scale restoration projects. Additionally, the Council is reserving approximately $43.6 million for implementation of future activities, subject to further Council review. The state of Florida would receive approximately $38 million in project funding, which includes $18 million in Florida sponsored projects and $20 million in other Council Member sponsored projects.

    Two public meetings were held in Florida on the draft FPL. One in St. Petersburg on August 26 and a second in Panama City on August 27. The Council encourages public input and will take into consideration all public comments before finalizing the FPL.
  • NFWF—FWC and DEP will be coordinating on a science-based restoration plan with technical assistance from the Northwest Florida Water Management District, the Suwannee River Water Management District, and FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. It will identify priority projects for future funding consideration from NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. Read more here.
Settlements

Important Phone Numbers

  • Claims
    (800) 916-4893
  • Report Oil
    (800) 320-0519
  • Environment/Community Hotline
    (866) 448-5816
Media

  • Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center
    (713) 323-1670
  • DEP Press Office
    (850) 245-2112
  • News Archive

Last updated: January 09, 2017

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