Congress has passed the RESTORE Act as part of its final transportation bill to help support the recovery of communities and ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. The RESTORE Act dedicates 80% of Clean Water Act fines from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to establish a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. The total fines could range from $5 billion to $21 billion, based on whether BP and others are found to be grossly negligent.
The Gulf Coast fund will help restore beaches, coastal marshes, barrier islands, and wildlife damaged by the millions of gallons of oil releaed into the Gulf by the BP oil spill. The fund will also support economic development in the region and help protect tourism, recreation, and commercial fishing.
Unfortunately, the National Endowment for the Ocean was removed from the bill which would have established a long-term, dedicated funding for ocean and coastal research and conservation projects.
Special thanks to our Florida Chapters and over five thousand Surfrider activists nationwide who wrote to Congress in support of the RESTORE Act!